PRI | May 15, 2023

Spirit Airlines announces big Puerto Rico expansion 

/ Our Today

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Spirit Airlines Airbus A321 aircraft takes off at Fort Lauderdale Airport Fort Lauderdale, USA on November 14, 2022. (Photo: REUTERS)

Low-cost American carrier, Spirit Airlines, which has been flying to Puerto Rico for more than 20 years, is going big on the Caribbean destination.

The airline has announced a big expansion with a wave of new routes to the island ahead of the summer. Spirit has added new four new routes that kicked off this month with daily non-stop flights to San Juan from Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Chicago O’Hare. 

Next month, another new non-stop route will be launched with the first-ever service between Hartford, Connecticut and San Juan. That route will be operating three times each week, beginning June 7. 

More Spirit flights coming

Spirit is also ramping up its service on four other routes with additional flights to San Juan out of Baltimore, Newark, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando. This includes what is now five weekly flights between Orlando and San Juan. 

This latest expansion of daily non-stop flights to San Juan from Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Chicago O’Hare, is not just a sign of Puerto Rico’s tourism strength but is a reminder of the growing importance of tourism source markets beyond traditional hubs like the northeast US and Florida. 

The Fort Lauderdale service is now operating twice weekly while Baltimore and Newark are also adding additional flights to offer twice-weekly Puerto Rico service. Commenting on the move, Bobby Schroeter, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Spirit, notes that the airline’s commitment to Puerto Rico stretches more than two decades.

“[A]nd it’s exciting for us to celebrate today with an expansion that grows our SJU service to the largest it’s ever been, now serving 16 non-stop destinations plus increased frequencies to key markets,” he added.

Airlines have been zeroing in on Puerto Rico since the onset of the pandemic, with the island’s surging visitor arrivals attracting a wave of new non-stop routes from the mainland United States. More airlines have been expanding their Caribbean service out of places like the Midwest and the South with Spirit’s competitor, Frontier just launched a similar expansion to Puerto Rico.

The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport with the pick up/drop off area in view. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Stakeholder groups welcome the expansion

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company have added its voice to the expansion with its executive director, Carlos Mercado Santiago, being quoted by Caribbean Journal as saying “we are excited about the economic and market growth these flights will create for Puerto Rico as a top travel destination in the Caribbean. Spirit’s decision to add new connections from five important hubs from the US and the increase in frequency of flights from four others, aligns with our vision and strategy to further develop or air access and strengthen the overall tourism activity, one of the key sectors of our economy.”

Jorge Hernández, president of Aerostar, which manages the island’s primary air hub commented, “we welcome Spirit Airlines’ new routes, which amplify the flight options between Puerto Rico and five cities in the United States through Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Our facilities and staff are ready for continued growth that efforts such as Spirit’s allow us to experience. These new Spirit flights, from and to our island, open doors to new employment opportunities and an increase in commercial and tourist activity in the island.”


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