Spirit bolsters position at Orlando International

US ULCC Spirit Airlines confirmed that by Nov. 17 it will have restored all of its pre-pandemic international flying from Orlando International (MCO), where it has already restored domestic flying to pre-COVID-19-levels.

In fact, Spirit’s total network from MCO will be 10 destinations more than prior to the pandemic. Daily services from MCO to Cancun (CUN), Louisville (SDF), Milwaukee (MKE) and St. Louis (STL)—all new routes—are already underway. Spirit’s new routes from MCO to Punta Cana (PUJ) and Santo Domingo (SDQ) are now operating 3X-weekly and 4X-weekly, respectively.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Spirit’s MCO-Manchester, New Hampshire (MHT) service will launch Oct. 7 and be daily. The ULCC’s new MCO-Miami (MIA) service will start Nov. 17 and also be daily.

More MCO news

Meanwhile, Spirit this fall will restore pre-pandemic flights to Cartagena, Colombia (CTG); Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA); Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ); Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP) and San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL).

“The airline's Orlando operations will be 45% larger than they were at the end of 2019 once the new routes and resumptions come online,” Spirit said in a statement.

Spirit VP of network planning John Kirby added: “With over 80 flights each day to more than 50 cities [from MCO by this fall], Spirit Airlines provides our central Florida [passengers] even more nonstop options, including 16 popular vacation destinations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Speaking recently at Routes Americas 2021 in Orlando, Kirby promised delegates that 2022 would “be a massive growth year for Spirit.” He added: “In subsequent years we’ll be growing about 14-17%—sort of that midteen target.”

Spirit is an all-Airbus A320-family operator. It will add 16 A320neos to its fleet in 2021 and another 21 of the type in 2022, anticipating growth.

Photo credit: AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / Getty Images

Aaron Karp

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