In a time where hundreds of well-positioned airlines have been forced to partially or totally ground their aircraft, Spirit has been extremely active by adding new routes and securing positions at NYC airports.
John Kirby, Spirit’s vice president of network planning has spoken about the airline’s ambitions in New York City for the near future.
Now that JetBlue is moving its operations into the airport’s Terminal B, Spirit will focus on securing its operations at the Marine Air Terminal “MAT” in New York/LaGuardia.
With just six gates and convenient in-and-out access from the highway, it doesn’t experience the same traffic jams as other terminals.
With this move, the airline hopes to provide easy connectivity with American Airlines, its new Northeast partner.
“It’s just a matter of timing,” said Kirby. “I’d say it’s likely in the middle part of next year that’ll all come together, and we’ll be the lead tenant at the Marine Air Terminal,” said Kirby.
At the MAT, “we’ll have tremendous operational flexibility… We’re closer to the runways. We’re going to burn less fuel.
In September 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it will grant 16 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to one low-cost airline, in a bid to promote competition in United’s East Coast hub.
With Frontier out of the Newark game, Kirby expects Spirit to earn 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 at neighboring New York-JFK and it also shares slots with American Airlines through the Northeast Alliance.
Regardless of the FAA’s decision, Spirit will remain in Newark’s Terminal B, because operating from it is less expensive than from the new terminal.
New York-JFK, not for now.
The harsh reality is that operating from JFK is quite expensive, and it may become a hardship for a low-cost carrier like Spirit.
“JFK is very unique even among the New York-area airports because all the terminals are private. And so it’s a pretty expensive endeavor to serve JFK.”
31 New Routes
The airline has not had time to think of the pandemic hence only 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.
Also, it has 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.