Spirit Airlines Grows Milwaukee Routes As It Inaugurates Services

Spirit Airlines has inaugurated services to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE). While celebrating the airline’s arrival to the Wisconsin city, the carrier will bring five new nonstop services starting this winter for travelers looking to get away to warm-weather destinations.

Spirit Airlines Grows Milwaukee Routes As It Inaugurates Services
Spirit Airlines is adding five new routes out of Milwaukee. Photo: Getty Images

Spirit Airlines adds new routes out of Milwaukee

Spirit Airlines has finally arrived in Milwaukee. Filling in another gap in the airline’s route network, Spirit is coming in with three daily flights to Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), and Orlando (MCO).

Now, this winter, Spirit Airlines is expanding Milwaukee even more, adding five new routes. MKE will see service to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Phoenix (PHX), Tampa (TPA), and Cancun (CUN).

Spirit Airlines Grows Milwaukee Routes As It Inaugurates Services
Spirit’s new, expanded route map out of Milwaukee. Photo: Spirit Airlines

All routes but Cancun will see daily service and start from November 17th. Flights to Cancun will run three times per week and launch from December 23rd. The flights to Fort Lauderdale will also offer one-stop connections to points in Latin America and the Caribbean, as FLL Is the airline’s largest base.

John Kirby, Vice President of Network Planning for Spirit Airlines, stated the following on the new routes out of Milwaukee:

“We see a vibrant future full of new opportunities for travel here in the Badger State. We’re excited to nearly triple our convenient, nonstop flights to exciting destinations. We can’t wait to take more Milwaukee Guests to ‘sun and sand’ destinations and bring travelers from all over to enjoy Wisconsin’s great festivals, sports scene and fun outdoor activities.”

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Turning up the heat

The competition is growing with Spirit’s new routes. On all of them, Spirit Airlines will be going head-to-head against Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines is the dominant carrier in Milwaukee. Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that Southwest Airlines had a 47.71% market share at the airport.

Meanwhile, flights to Tampa and Fort Myers will also see greater competition. United Airlines added flights from Milwaukee to both cities last year, tapping into pandemic-era demand for warm weather domestic travel. United Airlines has not put those flights back in the winter schedule, so those flights may have just been one-off adds during the pandemic with plenty of free aircraft.

Southwest United Getty
United encroached on some of Southwest’s routes out of Milwaukee, though it looks like it will be scaling those flights back this winter. Photo: Getty Images

Frontier Airlines also services both routes. However, service to Fort Myers on Frontier is seasonal and will only start from late December. Spirit will launch flights before the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

In addition, to Fort Myers and Cancun, Sun Country Airlines is also entering those markets this winter. Striving to continue to build its brand as a Midwestern airline, Sun Country is targeting growth on leisure routes. Sun Country will also be flying a mostly seasonal itinerary.

All in all, Milwaukee residents will have plenty of options for leisure travel this winter.

Spirit Airbus A319
Spirit Airlines has not let competition deter it. Photo: Getty Images

About Milwaukee and Spirit’s growth

Milwaukee has recently gained interest from new entrant carriers. JetBlue plans to land in the city next year, and Spirit Airlines will add more low-cost service to a city that has often been overlooked. While Milwaukee is within driving distance of Chicago, the convenience of flying in and out of a local area airport cannot be overstated.

Spirit has been targeting cities like Milwaukee. The airline knows the importance of Midwestern and Rust Belt travel. That is why it has added flights from St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Louisville. It has also grown flight schedules to St. Louis and Louisville the same day it inaugurated flights to both cities.

Spirit Getty
Spirit Airlines has expansion on its mind. Photo: Getty Images

Spirit can add more flying because it is in the middle of a huge year for deliveries. In total, 16 Airbus A320neo aircraft will be coming to Spirit this year, and all of them will help power more low-cost growth. Spirit has a lot of room to grow and has shown itself willing to extend its footprint wherever it can. One of the most prominent examples includes Spirit’s interest in making a huge splash in Miami this winter.

Are you going to fly Spirit out of Milwaukee this winter? Let us know in the comments!