There is huge news coming out of Miami. The prolific and bold Spirit Airlines, which calls Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) home, strikes again and is now coming to Miami International Airport (MIA) in a huge way. Expecting to start services from October, Spirit is targeting 30 routes out of Miami and effectively turning it into its second gateway for the carrier out of South Florida.
Spirit Airlines is coming to Miami
If all goes well, Spirit Airlines is expected to launch operations out of Miami on October 6th. The airline is targeting the following routes:
Starting October 6th:
- Atlantic City (ACY) with daily operations
- Atlanta (ATL) with daily operations
- Baltimore (BWI) with daily operations
- Bogota (BOG) with daily operations
- Guatemala City (GUA) four times per week
- Medellin (MDE) with daily operations
- Newark (EWR) with daily operations
- Port-au-Prince (PAP) with daily operations
- Santo Domingo (SDQ) with daily operations
- San Salvador (SAL) three times per week starting on October 7th
Starting November 17th:
- Barranquilla (BAQ) with daily operations
- Boston (BOS) with daily operations
- Cali (CLO) with daily operations
- Chicago (ORD) with daily operations
- Cleveland (CLE) with daily operations
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) with daily operations
- Denver (DEN) with daily operations
- Detroit (DTW) with daily operations
- Hartford (BDL) with daily operations
- Houston (IAH) with daily operations
- Las Vegas (LAS) with daily operations
- Myrtle Beach (MYR) with daily operations
- New York LaGuardia (LGA) with two flights per day
- Orlando (MCO) with daily operations
- Philadelphia (PHL) with daily operations
- Raleigh-Durham (RDU) with daily operations
- San Pedro Sula (SAP) with daily operations
- San José (SJO) four times per week
- San Juan (SJU) with daily operations
- St. Thomas (STT) three times per week starting on November 18th
Spirit Airlines has been obliged to release the list of destinations it intends to serve and dates it will come to Miami. According to the airline, this has to be made public before obtaining gate and counter space at the airport. Once the coordination of gates and counters is complete, Spirit will offer its final schedule.
Note that the schedule and cities may change depending on how the airline’s space is allocated in Miami. Once those details are hammered out, the carrier will start to sell tickets and release final flight schedules.
There are plenty of months to go before the airline officially plans on inaugurating services. And, any flights that it may not get right away, it could get in the future if additional gate space opens up at MIA.
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Watch out: Spirit is putting up a fight
Spirit Airlines is coming to Miami with one of the most expansive route networks of any airline serving the airport, save for American Airlines. While things may change, there is a lot of appetite for bringing more nonstop low-cost service to major airports around the United States.
Spirit Airlines has not been deterred from entering major hub airports. It is known for having a sizable presence in cities like Dallas, Chicago, Detroit and recently building up in Los Angeles. The airline has also shown it can be successful in new markets dominated by a major US airline.
This will put a lot of pressure on American Airlines. Long known as Miami’s leading airline, the airline just inaugurated a new nonstop service to Tel Aviv, Israel, and has been upgauging services across Latin America and the Caribbean to service heavier demand in what is typically the airline’s strongest international market.
Spirit Airlines is coming into that market. The airline is a known low-cost presence in Central America, the Caribbean, and Colombia. It will now be able to complement its Fort Lauderdale service with a presence in Miami.
Spirit and American have been in opposition to each other recently. The ultra-low-cost carrier has been a leading voice in opposition to the American-JetBlue Northeastern Alliance. It also took aim at Ecuador after both airlines made separate moves to alter their frequencies in the market.
Another airline that has set its sights on Miami is Frontier Airlines. The carrier has been making some new additions at the city into Latin America, though not with the robust portfolio and frequencies that Spirit is targeting. Frontier is still committed to the airport, though it operates on a different model than Spirit.
Will not shrink in Fort Lauderdale
Spirit Airlines is the largest airline in Fort Lauderdale. Come July, the airline anticipates reaching 100 daily departures out of FLL for the first time. Even with the growth in Miami, Spirit believes there is enough demand for flying to South Florida to maintain both its strong Fort Lauderdale position and an expansive position out of Miami.
The airline can service all these new routes thanks to its incredible ramp-up of Airbus deliveries. The carrier’s order book benefited from the crisis. As other airlines deferred deliveries, Spirit decided to accelerate some as it remains well-suited to benefit from a strong summer leisure recovery.
Spirit Airlines was clear in its moves to Miami: it will not result in a reduction in flying at FLL. With years of service to the airport, Spirit uses FLL as its primary gateway into Latin America and the Caribbean. There, the carrier can also target a larger domestic market with connecting passengers.
Spirit Airlines is doubling down in Florida. Once it comes to Miami, the airline will serve seven of Florida’s ten largest airports, and it is undoubtedly planning even more in the state.
For Miami-based travelers, this means a host of new options. For American Airlines and Frontier Airlines, this means a lot of new competition. Keep an eye out on Miami to see how this develops and what reactions come from American Airlines and Frontier Airlines.
Are you glad to see Spirit Airlines announce it intends to service Miami? Will you fly Spirit either to or from Miami? Let us know in the comments!