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Spirit’s been going through a growth spurt lately, starting 29 new routes in 2016 according to anna.aero. And it seems they have no plans to slow down in 2017, with the announcement earlier this week that they would start ten new routes this spring.
On April 27th, Spirit will commence:
- Houston (IAH) to Newark (EWR) on Airbus A320 equipment
- Houston (IAH) to Seattle (SEA) on Airbus A320 equipment (seasonal)
On May 25th the majority of the routes will commence:
- New Orleans (MSY) to Baltimore (BWI), New Orleans to Cleveland (CLE), and New Orleans to Orlando (MCO), all year round and on Airbus A319 equipment
- Detroit (DTW) to Oakland (OAK) on Airbus A320 equipment and Seattle (SEA) on Airbus A319 equipment, both seasonal
- Baltimore (BWI) to Oakland (OAK), Seattle (SEA), and San Diego (SAN), all seasonal and all on Airbus A319 equipment
Spirit will face competition on nine of the ten routes announced, the lone exception being the Detroit to Oakland route. One route will now see five carriers, which means bloodbath! Spirit will compete with the following airlines:
- Baltimore to Oakland: Southwest
- Baltimore to San Diego: Alaska and Southwest
- Baltimore to Seattle: Alaska and Southwest
- Detroit to Seattle: Alaska and Delta
- Houston to Newark: United
- Houston to Seattle: Alaska and United
- New Orleans to Baltimore: Southwest
- New Orleans to Cleveland: Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and United (!!!)
- New Orleans to Orlando: Frontier and Southwest
Prices don’t look cheap on some of these routes, and remember, Spirit will charge you for LITERALLY everything except putting your butt in a seat (well…depends on the seat). You can expect to pay for checked bags, carry-ons, self-assigned seats, boarding passes at the airport, and snacks and drinks, to name a few. As they say, you get what you pay for!
I’m excited to see how Spirit does–they’re not shy about cutting underperforming routes in order to deploy planes to more profitable places.
If you live near one of these airports, are you hoping for the “Spirit Effect” to bring down prices?