Spirit Airlines just announced another major route expansion

Legacy carriers beware

By: Theo Nichols

December 4, 2017

Spirit Airlines A319, Credit: Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is continuing its breakneck expansion with the addition of 11 new routes to its network. From its base at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI), Spirit will begin daily year-round service to Denver International Airport and Montego Bay, Jamaica on March 22, 2018. On April 22, 2018 Spirit will launch two daily year-round flights from Tampa to Las Vegas and Los Angeles (LAX).

Spirit also announced it will begin daily seasonal service from Detroit (DTW) to Portland, Oregon; and San Diego on April 23, 2018. Spirit will also begin flying daily to Las Vegas from Orlando year-round on April 12, 2018.

Spirit’s biggest move is at Seattle/Tacoma International Airport where it will launch four new daily seasonal routes. Beginning on April 22, 2018, Spirit will serve Fort Lauderdale, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Minneapolis/St. Paul from Seattle.

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"We are excited to celebrate our growth in these key markets and offer even more ultra-low fares to some of our guests' favorite destinations," said Mark Kopczak, Spirit Airlines' Vice President of Network Planning. "Whether it's connecting Tampa to the west coast, bringing new routes to Seattle/Tacoma, or adding another international destination from Baltimore/Washington, we know these new, nonstop flights will bring more friends together and allow more families to go on vacation."

Spirit Airlines’ latest round of expansion continues its recent encroachment on the major hubs of the legacy carriers, such as Seattle/Tacoma where both Delta and Alaska control a majority of the market. The continued rapid expansion of Spirit is bad news for the major carriers and good news for consumers as the extra capacity puts downwards pressure on yields.

With both Spirit and Frontier embarking on aggressive expansion plans and labor and fuel costs rising, the domestic business environment in the coming year is shaping up to be much more difficult for Delta, United, and American while benefiting customers with low fares.

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