Atlanta To Fort Lauderdale Comes Out Top Of 222 Spirit Routes

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Spirit has 222 routes this month, with Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale number-one by total seats. The carrier’s network reaches 17 countries, 28 states, and 71 airports, with Fort Lauderdale cementing the top position.

Spirit's top routes
Spirit has 222 routes this month, down from 281 in March 2020 and 254 in the same month in 2019. Showing how far it has come, it had just 63 in March 2011. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Spirit’s top-15 routes this month

Spirit’s number-one route is Atlanta to Fort Lauderdale, with almost 68,000 two-way seats, OAG shows. The ULCC has up to 42 weekly departures – six daily – on it, double its average 21-weekly operation over the past decade.

Spirit is one of four carriers on the airport-pair, which now has over 256,000 seats. While Delta obviously remains top, Spirit’s share exceeds one-quarter (26%), more than Southwest (11%) and JetBlue (5%) combined.

Fort Lauderdale to La Guardia was Spirit’s leading route for a long time. Now it’s at number-two. While its capacity on the route has remained broadly flat in recent years, this month has seen its second-highest volume in the past ten years.

This growth is partly from the increased demand to Florida and partly from using A321s more than before. This helps to achieve a lower unit cost while offering more revenue-generating opportunities per sector.

Network-wide, Spirit’s 228-seat A321s have nearly three in ten seats (27%) this month, well behind A320ceos (46%) but similar to A320neos (24%). A319s, meanwhile, now have just 3%.

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Spirit’s top-15 routes have over one-fifth of its total seats this month. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser

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Fort Lauderdale is Spirit’s top airport

With Fort Lauderdale appearing eight times in Spirit’s top-15 route list, it is no surprise that it is the carrier’s number-one of the 71 served this month.

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Spirit has just short of a million seats filed at the South Florida airport – its highest volume to date – representing almost three-quarters of its total. It has 57 routes from there, with St Maarten and Aruba the least served.

Following Fort Lauderdale are Orlando, Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa, Houston, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles. The significance of large leisure destinations and big origination cities for Spirit is plain to see.

Burbank, which joined Spirit’s network in 2019, has the lowest capacity of any of the operator’s US airports. This is from only one route – Las Vegas – presently operated twice-weekly. Charleston, WV, is marginally ahead with its one route to Orlando.

Spirit's top routes
For Lauderdale remains Spirit’s top airport. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Baltimore falls out of the top-10

There have been various changes among Spirit’s top airports. The fall of Baltimore is notable, which was sixth in March 2019 and fifth the following year. It is now 11th.

Spirit now has 11 routes from Baltimore, down from 23 year-on-year. The likes of Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Nashville aren’t operating – little surprise given the nature of the routes in the current environment. However, some are bookable later this year.

Baltimore’s Florida flying is down too – including from the loss of Fort Myers and Jacksonville – but the state now represents over one-quarter (28%) of its total seats from the airport.  System-wide, Spirit naturally revolves around Florida and it has four times more seats there than second-place Texas.

Spirit's top routes
Spirit has 11 routes from Baltimore this month, with Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, Houston, and Atlanta the top-five. With just a twice-weekly service, New Orleans is least-served. Source: GCMaps

Do you think that Spirit has the right strategy and economics to emerge from the pandemic stronger than before? Comment below.

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