For Spirit Airlines, Another Big Puerto Rico Expansion
Airlines have been zeroing in on Puerto Rico since the onset of the pandemic, with the island’s surging visitor arrivals attracting a wave of new nonstop routes from the mainland United States.
Now, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, which has been flying to Puerto Rico for more than 20 years, is at it again, with a wave of new routes to the island ahead of the summer.
That includes new four new routes that kicked off this month: daily nonstop flights to San Juan from Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Chicago O’Hare.
Next month, another new nonstop route will launch, with the first-ever service between Hartford, Conn. and San Juan. That route will be operating three times each week, beginning June 7.
It’s not just a sign of Puerto Rico’s tourism strength — it’s also a reminder of the growing importance of tourism source markets beyond traditional hubs like the northeast and Florida.
More and more airlines have been expanding their Caribbean service out of places like the Midwest and the South, and it’s a trend that is only heating up. (That includes Spirit’s competitor, Frontier, which just launched a similar expansion to Puerto Rico).
“Our commitment to Puerto Rico stretches more than two decades, and it’s exciting for us to celebrate today with an expansion that grows our SJU service to the largest it’s ever been, now serving 16 nonstop destinations plus increased frequencies to key markets,” said Bobby Schroeter, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Spirit Airlines.
It’s not just new routes, however.
Spirit is also ramping up its service on four other routes, with additional flights to San Juan out of Baltimore, Newark, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
That includes what are now now five weekly flights between Orlando and San Juan.
“We are excited about the economic and market growth these flights will create for Puerto Rico as a top travel destination in the Caribbean,” said Carlos Mercado Santiago, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “Spirit’s decision to add new connections from five important hubs from the US and the increase in frequency of flights from four others, aligns with our vision and strategy to further develop or air access and strengthen the overall tourism activity, one of the key sectors of our economy.”
Fort Lauderdale service is now operating twice weekly, and Baltimore and Newark are also adding additional flights to offer twice-weekly Puerto Rico service.
“We welcome Spirit Airlines’ new routes, which amplify the flight options between Puerto Rico and five cities in the United States through Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport,” said ,” said Jorge Hernández, President of Aerostar, which manages the island’s primary air hub. “Our facilities and staff are ready for continued growth that efforts such as Spirit’s allow us to experience. These new Spirit flights, from and to our island, open doors to new employment opportunities and an increase in commercial and tourist activity in the Island.”