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TravelSpirit Airlines adds 4 new routes but suspends 3 others

Spirit Airlines adds 4 new routes but suspends 3 others


Spirit Airlines continues to tweak its network to chase more demand.

The Dania Beach, Florida-based carrier quietly added four new routes and suspended three others as part of its most recent schedule adjustment, as first seen in Cirium Diio data and later confirmed by a carrier spokesperson.

Spirit’s new routes include three daily flights:

  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) — Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE)
  • BWI — Charleston International Airport (CHS) in South Carolina
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) — O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago

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All three flights will commence Aug. 14. The Baltimore routes will operate once a day, while the new 235-mile shuttle route from Detroit to Chicago will operate twice a day.

Additionally, Spirit will add a five-times-weekly service between Nashville International Airport (BNA) and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) beginning Sept. 5.

Three of Spirit’s new routes will compete with Southwest Airlines, which already operates both Baltimore routes and the one from Nashville to New Orleans.

Furthermore, the airline is going head-to-head with the “Big Three” U.S. airlines (American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines), which already provide ample service on the Detroit-to-Chicago route.

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While Spirit has long opted for more leisure-focused markets, the airline has been bleeding money since the coronavirus pandemic. To boost profitability, the airline is diversifying its network into more established markets in larger cities.

Opportunities like Detroit to Chicago will also help the carrier add more connecting options, a key priority for Spirit’s network planners.

Just this year, Spirit has made countless adjustments to its network. While that’s typical of ultra-low-cost carriers, Spirit is doing what it can to chase new demand.

Along with the network changes, the airline is also trying to rid itself of its image as the ultimate nickel-and-dimer. As part of that, Spirit has announced a slew of customer-focused improvements, including the elimination of change fees, increased baggage limits and more flexible travel vouchers.

Map watching: The award for ‘sexiest new route’ of the year goes to …

Whether that translates into more bookings is anyone’s guess, but United CEO Scott Kirby has already concluded that these budget carriers are “going out of business,” as shared on a recent episode of “The Air Show” podcast.

Along with the new routes, Spirit is also suspending three others:

  • BWI — San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)
  • ORD — Portland International Airport (PDX) in Oregon

The airline confirmed that these are seasonal cuts, but we’ll have to monitor them to see if they return next year.

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