Spirit Announces Huge Orlando Expansion With Flights to Caribbean, Central and South America

Jun 15, 2018

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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. 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.

Earlier this week, the carrier announced three new domestic flights from Orlando:
  • 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.

Spirit Airlines Big Front Seat on its A321. Image by Brian Biros / The Points Guy.

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.

Spirit Airlines coach class on its A321. Image by Brian Biros / The Points Guy.

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.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.