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Spirit launches first nine routes from Miami; 22 more to come before mid-January

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For almost two decades, Fort Lauderdale has been Spirit Airlines’s biggest base of operations, sometimes welcoming more than twice as many flights as its nearest rival. That may be set to change in 2022 now that Spirit has launched its first flights (to nine destinations) from nearby Miami on Wednesday 6 October. As a result, the airline has reduced frequencies on a number of its Fort Lauderdale services, although comparing Cirium Data and Analytics schedule information for August 2021 and December 2021 reveals that Spirit has only dropped four routes from Fort Lauderdale; Greensboro, Hartford, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Raleigh-Durham.

Of these, Hartford and Raleigh-Durham will launch from Miami on 17 November. Spirit has also added three new Fort Lauderdale routes in the fourth quarter of 2021; Manchester in New Hampshire (on 7 October), Milwaukee in Wisconsin (from 17 November) and Tegucigalpa XPL in Honduras (also from 17 November).

Orlando becomes #1 for Spirit flights in December

The reduction in Fort Lauderdale flights means that in December, Orlando will become Spirit’s leading airport for aircraft movements, though Fort Lauderdale will remain top for seats as the base will see a higher proportion of operations using Spirit’s largest A321 aircraft. Measured by flights, Miami will already rank fifth in Spirit’s network in December, behind Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In terms of capacity, it will rank fourth, ahead of Los Angeles.

Spirit in Florida in 2021

Spirit also offers flights to several other airports in Florida; Fort Myers, Pensacola and Tampa as well as a few flights to West Palm Beach. With over 800 departures from Miami in December, Spirit will become the airport’s second biggest carrier in terms of flights and seats. However, with over 10,600 departures, American remains Miami’s leading airline by a long, long way.

Miami: nine down, 22 to go

During its first two days in Miami, Spirit launched a total of nine routes; four domestic and five international. The US routes were to Atlanta, Atlantic City, Baltimore/Washington and New York EWR. The non-US routes were to Bogota and Medellin in Colombia, Guatemala City, Port au Prince (Haiti) and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Only Atlantic City is not served by another carrier and Spirit faces at least three other carriers on five of the routes. Spirit will serve all of these new routes daily, apart from Guatemala City (flown 4-weekly). For more details of the competition faced on each route, check out the NAMNERD file, which can be downloaded free from this website.

On Wednesday 17 November, Spirit is expecting to launch a further 19 new routes from Miami. This time, 14 will be to destinations on the US mainland and five to airports in the Caribbean and Latin America.

  • Double-daily service to: New York LGA;
  • Daily service to: Barranquilla, Boston, Cali, Chicago ORD, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Houston IAH, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Orlando MCO, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham and San Juan;
  • 4-weekly service to: Tegucigalpa XPL;
  • 3-weekly service to: San Pedro Sula.

Finally, in early January, the last three new routes to San Jose (Costa Rica), San Salvador (El Salvador) and St. Thomas are set to begin. These services will begin with either 3- or 4-weekly service.

Spirit route map