Spirit Airlines Grows Offering At JetBlue Stronghold, Schedules First A321neo Route

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ULCC Spirit Airlines is growing its presence at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), a focus city of potential merger partner JetBlue Airways, adding five new routes.

Florida-based Spirit has also scheduled the first route that will use its new Airbus A321neo ahead of aircraft deliveries starting soon.

Spirit currently operates nine routes from BOS, a number that will grow to 14 by Aug. 9. JetBlue’s attempt to acquire Spirit is tied up in a dispute with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ), which has sued to block the proposed merger on antitrust grounds. JetBlue operates the most capacity of any airline out of Boston. A trial in U.S. federal court to determine whether the merger can move forward is scheduled for October.

From June 7, Spirit will open new service from BOS to both Charlotte (CLT) and Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). Both routes will be flown daily.

From July 5, the Fort Lauderdale (FLL), carrier will start daily transcontinental flights between Logan and Los Angeles (LAX). From Aug. 9, Spirit will add daily service from BOS to both Houston Intercontinental (IAH) and Phoenix (PHX).

“It's exciting to grow our service in Boston and provide new nonstop options to a variety of popular destinations across the country,” Spirit VP-Network Planning John Kirby says in a statement, adding the coming route launches are an “opportunity to deepen our New England ties.”

Presently, Spirit operates from BOS to only three destinations outside of Florida: Atlanta (ATL), Las Vegas (LAS) and San Juan (SJU), Puerto Rico. It serves six Florida airports from BOS, including two seasonal routes. 

The airline is in growth mode, planning to add 26 aircraft to its all-Airbus A320 family fleet in 2023, including taking delivery of its first A321neo.

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Spirit will launch its first A321neo into scheduled operation in June between Fort Lauderdale and Chicago O’Hare (ORD). From June 7, the carrier will serve the 1,902-km (1,027-nm) route 12 times per week using the aircraft, with frequencies rising increasing to 2X-daily from Aug. 9.

Spirit’s first A321neo had its maiden test flight on April 17 at Hamburg Airport. CAPA Fleet Database shows the ULCC has 37 of the type on order.

Aaron Karp

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

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.