Spirit Airlines unveils 4 new routes to a brand-new destination
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Spirit Airlines just became the latest carrier to add a slew of new routes, despite the pandemic.
The Miramar, Florida-based carrier will add a brand-new dot to its route map — Louisville, Kentucky — with four daily routes launching May 27.
Spirit will fly to Louisville’s Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) from three of its largest cities, Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS) and Orlando (MCO). The carrier will also launch the nation’s only nonstop flight between Los Angeles (LAX) and the largest city in Kentucky.
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In explaining the move to open a station in Louisville, Sprit’s vice president of network planning explained that “one of the great things about flying to Louisville is that it isn’t just a point of origin. People want to visit Louisville as well. We expect customers to both go in and come out.”
For passengers based in Louisville, Spirit is touting its robust network of one-stop itineraries. Through Fort Lauderdale, flyers can get to nearly 30 destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America. Travelers heading westbound can transit through Las Vegas to visit places like Portland and Seattle.
Spirit’s four new flights are available for purchase immediately. Introductory fares start at roughly $50 each way. Spirit’s “Bare Fare” doesn’t include a full-sized carry-on, checked bags or seat assignment. All ancillary services are available for an additional upcharge.
Spirit’s going head-to-head against two of its ultra-low-cost competitors, Allegiant and Frontier, on all the new flights, except for the LAX service. Additionally, Southwest currently flies from Louisville to both Orlando and Las Vegas, so expect some stiff competition in those markets.
As for LAX, Spirit will likely have pricing power. American Airlines was the last carrier to fly the LAX-SDF route in April 2020, but that’s since been suspended due to the pandemic. Department of Transporation data analyzed by Cirium shows that AA was able to command roughly $238 per ticket during the 2019 calendar year.
The Fort Worth-based carrier flew, on average, 48 passengers a day between the two cities. In total, 124 daily travelers flew the route in 2019. If those numbers remain — or grow — in a mid-pandemic world, then Spirit’s LAX flight might turn a profit.
Spirit’s new routes come nearly a month after the carrier unveiled a brand-new and more rewarding Free Spirit loyalty program. TPG recently put Spirit to the test against Delta on a round-trip itinerary between New York and Florida.
Adding new domestic routes, despite the pandemic, has been a move every major U.S. airline has recently made. Carriers are looking to boost revenues with flights to outdoor-friendly destinations. American recently announced a slew of new flights to warm-weather destinations and national parks.
Allegiant, one of Spirit’s chief competitors, added three new cities in a 13-route expansion that included places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Key West, Florida.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy
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