St. Louis and Pensacola secure new Spirit routes

By Aaron Karp and David Casey

Spirit Airlines will add two more destinations to its network this summer, launching flights to St. Louis (STL) in Missouri and Pensacola (PNS) in Florida.

Four routes from STL will start in May alongside six from PNS in June. Spirit also intends to begin flying between STL and PNS. The latest additions come as the ULCC continues to take advantage of demand for low fare, leisure flying in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From May 27, the carrier will operate daily flights from STL to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO).

From June 10, daily service will start from PNS to Austin (AUS), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and STL. A 3X-weekly route to Louisville (SDF) also begins on the same day. From June 11, Spirt will then connect PNS with Columbus (CMH), Indianapolis (IND) and Kansas City (MCI), each of which will be 4X-weekly.

“The airline continues to seize growth opportunities as demand for air travel increases, having announced new service to Louisville, Milwaukee and Pensacola in the past two weeks,” Spirit said in a statement. “The airline continues to seize that kind of growth opportunity as demand for air travel increases.”

Spirit VP network planning John Kirby called STL “the gateway to the [US] west” and noted that five routes demonstrated a big commitment by Spirit to STL.

Spirit noted that FLL, LAS and MCO “are three of Spirit's biggest cities,” giving St. Louis passengers an opportunity to tap into the ULCC’s network. For example, a passenger could fly to FLL and then beyond to Spirit’s array of Caribbean and Latin America destinations.

Meanwhile, Pensacola becomes the eighth new city added to Spirit's network in the past year. Director of network planning Nick Bartolotta described it as “a robust city” with outbound demand, as well as inbound leisure demand to the beaches and golf courses on the Florida Panhandle.

More Spirit news

Earlier this week, Routes reported that Spirit is adding three new destinations from LaGuardia (LGA) this summer, one of which will become the New York airport’s farthest route at some 2,470 mi. (3,975 km).

Nonstop service will be offered to San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico starting in April, followed by new flights to Nashville (BNA) in May and LAX in June. The BNA route will operate daily, while SJU and LAX will be Saturday-only.

Spirit has also confirmed plans to invest in its Atlantic City International (ACY) base with an extension of service to West Palm Beach (PBI) and a return of service to Atlanta (ATL).

Traditionally operating with winter seasonal non-stop flights, the PBI service, originally scheduled to end in April, will now be extended through at least the summer. The ATL nonstop flights return with a summer seasonal service beginning April 14 after being suspended in 2020.

Photo credit: Orlando International Airport