Spirit Airlines Adds Hartford-Montego Bay Route

Credit: Joe Pries

US ULCC Spirit Airlines plans to launch service between Hartford (BDL) in Connecticut and Montego Bay (MBJ) in Jamaica in December.

The all-Airbus A320 family operator will fly the BDL-MBJ route 4X-weekly from Dec. 15. The year-round route will mark Spirit’s first international service from Hartford. The carrier currently serves three markets from BDL: Miami (MIA) and Orlando (MCO) in Florida and Myrtle Beach (MYR) in South Carolina.

The flights to MBJ will mark BDL’s first service to Jamaica.

In addition to MBJ, the carrier will also start flights to two more Florida destinations from BDL in the upcoming winter season: Fort Myers (RSW) and Tampa (TPA).

BDL executive director Kevin Dillon said in a statement that the airport has “pursued nonstop Jamaica service … for years,” adding: “I have no doubt that this service will be successful, and I am proud that [BDL] will finally be able to offer this convenient connectivity for the state’s strong Jamaican population, their friends and their relatives.”

MBJ CEO Shane Munroe added: “We welcome this service, which is a great addition for Jamaican students studying in Connecticut and the Jamaican diaspora … We anticipate that this will also increase tourist traffic directly from Connecticut to Montego Bay and Jamaica.”

Jamaican tourism minister Edmund Bartlett said the service from BDL is a “welcome addition to our airlift arrangements as we continue our drive to further boost the flow of US visitors to Jamaica through the addition of new gateways and greater seat support … Connecticut has a vibrant Jamaican diaspora and on the flip side many Jamaicans trek to Connecticut for business and family engagements.”

Spirit, based in Fort Lauderdale (FLL) in Florida, is in the process of merging with JetBlue Airways, subject to regulatory approval.

Frontier Airlines, the Denver (DEN)-based ULCC which attempted to acquire Spirit before the Florida carrier reached an agreement with JetBlue, launched service between BDL and Las Vegas (LAS) in August.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.