This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Ultra-low cost carrier Spirit Airlines announced Friday a major expansion at its hub in Orlando (MCO). The airline is adding 11 new routes this fall to destinations in the Caribbean, Central America and South America in what the airline says is one of its biggest spurts of growth ever.
This has been a year of growth for Spirit and brings the operator to 49 daily flights from Orlando. The airline has a large presence in Florida, with Fort Lauderdale (FLL) being its busiest hub. Spirit executives said the expansion in Orlando will put the city on par with its second-biggest hub in Las Vegas (LAS).
The 11 new routes are:
- Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (BQN): Daily flights launch October 4
- Bogota, Colombia (BOG): Daily service launches November 8
- Cartagena, Colombia (CTG): 2x weekly flights launch November 10
- Guatemala City (GUA): 2x weekly flight launch October 4
- Medellin, Colombia (MDE): 1x weekly flights launch November 9
- Panama City, Panama (PTY): 4x weekly flights launch October 4
- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ): 4x weekly flights launch October 4, then daily flights commence on November 8
- San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO): 4x weekly flights launch October 5, then daily flights commence on November 8
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP): 2x weekly flights launch October 5
- San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL): 2x weekly flights launch October 6
- St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT): 3x weekly flights launch November 8
“Orlando has always been a key component of our network,” Spirit President Ted Christie told USA Today. “It fits very well into what is core about Spirit. It’s a big leisure destination with plenty of origin and destination demand.”
“Orlando is now one of our largest markets, and we have no plans on stopping our growth,” Spirit CEO Bob Fornaro said in a statement. The executives said that they expect strong traffic from both the destination and origin cities. Spirit already serves all of the destinations from Fort Lauderdale.
- Asheville, North Carolina (AVL): 3x weekly flights launch September 7, then 4x weekly flight commence on November 8
- Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO): 3x weekly flights launch September 7, then 4x weekly flight commence on November 8
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (MYR): 2x weekly flights launch November 10
Spirit operates a fleet of all Airbus aircraft, flying only narrow-body A319s, A320s, A320neos, and A321s. It operates a single-cabin configuration, but with four to 10 “Big Front Seats” on all its aircraft featuring 36 inches of legroom in a 2-2 layout.
Economy seats are tight, with only 28 inches of pitch. That’s the least amount of legroom among US airlines. Seats are “pre-reclined,” i.e. you won’t be able to adjust the seats angle at all during your flight.
Although Spirit has a pretty crummy reputation among flyers, TPG himself flew it last year and surprisingly enjoyed his experience. TPG contributor Chris Sloan recently sat down with Spirit’s CEO and President for a far-ranging interview covering everything from the airline’s excessive fees and how it wants to expand in a more competitive marketplace.
H/T: USA Today
Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards