Spirit just began flying from Nashville, and it's already adding 3 more routes
Spirit Airlines cannot get enough of connecting dots on its map it seems, with Nashville joining the list of cities gaining even more new routes next year.
The ultra-low-cost-carrier began service to Nashville (BNA) Thursday with flights to Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS) and New Orleans (MSY). Orlando (MCO) flights begin on Friday, and Tampa (TPA) flights on Nov. 5.
But that’s not enough for Spirit. The Florida-based airline will add three more routes from the city. Service to Cancun (CUN) begins Feb. 27, while flights to Los Angeles (LAX) and Newark (EWR) start March 12, Spirit said Thursday. The Los Angeles and Newark routes will be daily. Cancun route will operate thrice-weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
The additions are just the latest expansion announcement from fast-growing Spirit in recent weeks. Just a day earlier, Spirit announced three new routes from Austin (AUS) — which also includes a new route to Nashville. And last week Spirit revealed plans for two new routes from San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico.
For Nashville, Spirit cited Nashville's growing market in making its latest expansion announcement there.
“As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the Music City is a perfect match for America’s fastest growing airline,” said John Kirby, vice-president of network planning at Spirit, in a statement. “With our low fares, non-stop destinations, and signature service, we bring the best value in the air to our guests in Nashville.”
Spirit aims to stimulate markets with its a la carte pricing that allows travelers to book very cheap seats and buy whatever extra amenities they want for a fee.
However, Spirit is taking on discount giant Southwest Airlines on all of its new routes from Nashville. Southwest also flies to Newark but will drop the route on Nov. 5, several months before Spirit begins flights on the route. Southwest's move comes as it ends all service from the New Jersey airport.
In Nashville, Delta Air Lines also wants a greater share of the market, naming the city one of its domestic focus cities in June. The Tennessee capital has historically been dominated by American Airlines and Southwest.
Nashville is among the fastest growing airports in the U.S. Passenger numbers grew at a compound annual rate of 7.3% to 15.9 million from 2014 to 2018, U.S. Department of Transportation data via Diio shows.
To accommodate that growth, the airport is in the midst of a multi-million dollar expansion, dubbed "BNA Vision." The plans include an expanded terminal, new parking garage, and six new domestic gates.
In addition to Southwest, Spirit will compete from Nashville with American and Delta to Los Angeles; Delta to Cancun; and United Airlines to Newark, Diio schedules show.