Spirit Airlines to take on JetBlue with 2 new Puerto Rico routes

Oct 4, 2019

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Spirit Airlines is raising its challenge to JetBlue Airways in Puerto Rico.

The ultra-low-cost-carrier will add new flights between San Juan (SJU) and Boston Logan (BOS) and Newark Liberty (EWR) on Dec. 19, just in time for the holidays, Spirit said Friday. Both routes will operate daily with Airbus A320 family aircraft.

Spirit will also add a second daily flight between Philadelphia (PHL) and San Juan on March 1.

Related: Why slots are no longer the obstacle for airlines expanding to Newark

Florida-based Spirit will compete directly with JetBlue on both the Boston and Newark routes, according to Diio by Cirium schedules. JetBlue is the largest carrier in San Juan with up to 34 flights a day, but Spirit is rapidly growing with plans for around 11 daily flights by March.

“We are constantly looking for growth opportunities in our network and we are so proud of the growth we have had in Puerto Rico over the years,” John Kirby, vice-president of network planning at Spirit, said in a statement.

JetBlue and Spirit also face off in Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO), where they each maintain bases.

Related: Spirit Airlines unveils new seats that it says will make for happier passengers

Both airlines are in the midst of a cabin overhaul aimed at improving their onboard products. JetBlue is refitting its workhorse A320s with an updated product, though retrofits are paused until next year due to Airbus A321neo delivery delays. In September, Spirit unveiled new seats that it says will be more comfortable than its current ones. Spirit said it will provide more details about its cabin updates in November.

In addition to JetBlue, Spirit will compete with Frontier Airlines and United Airlines between Newark and San Juan, Diio schedules show. Frontier will launch the route in November as part of a larger expansion into Newark.

Featured image by JT Genter/The Points Guy.

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