At a time when hundreds of well-positioned airlines were forced to land their aircraft partially or completely, Spirit has been extremely active adding new routes and securing positions at New York airports.
John Kirby, Vice President of Network Planning at Spirit, talked about the airline’s ambitions in New York for the near future.
Now that JetBlue is transferring its operations to the airport’s Terminal B, Spirit will focus on securing its operations at the “MAT” Maritime Air Terminal in New York / LaGuardia.
With just six gates and convenient highway in and out access, it doesn’t face the same traffic jams as other terminals.
With this change, the airline hopes to provide easy connectivity to American Airlines, its new partner in the Northeast.
“It’s just a matter of time,” said Kirby. “I would say that it’s likely to materialize by the middle of next year and we will be the main tenants of the Navy Air Terminal,” said Kirby.
At MAT, “we will have enormous operational flexibility… We are closer to the slopes. Let’s burn less fuel.
In September 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will award 16 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to a low-cost airline in an attempt to promote competition at United’s East Coast hub.
With Frontier out of the Newark game, Kirby hopes Spirit will win those slots. Although Alaska, Allegiant, JetBlue and Sun Country are also in the competition.
According to Spirit, JetBlue should be removed from the list because the airline already has a hub in neighboring New York-JFK and also shares slots with American Airlines through the Northeast Alliance.
Regardless of the FAA’s decision, Spirit will remain at Terminal B in Newark, because operating from it is cheaper than operating from the new terminal.
New York-JFK, not yet.
The harsh reality is that operating from JFK is very expensive and can become a challenge for a low-cost carrier like Spirit.
“JFK is unique, even among New York area airports, because all terminals are private. And therefore, it is a very expensive undertaking to serve JFK. ”
31 new routes
The airline didn’t have time to think about the pandemic, so just 3 weeks ago it announced 31 additional international and domestic routes.
The carrier added some international flights from Miami to Colombia, Honduras and Puerto Rico.
In addition, it launched new routes to Boston, Cleveland, Dallas / Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, New York LaGuardia, Orlando, Philadelphia and Raleigh-Durham in the United States.