Spirit Airlines announced an increase in flights and frequencies from San Juan, Puerto Rico, becoming the second-largest carrier in the US commonwealth.
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Spirit Expands At San Juan International Airport
Spirit Airlines announced this week that it would become the second-largest carrier by available seat mile (ASM) at San Juan International Airport in Puerto Rico.
Increases Orlando to San Juan service to 5x daily starting May 5
New flights from San Juan to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit and Hartford launch by June
Expansion increases San Juan service to 21 peak-day departures in SJU by June 2023, making Spirit the second-largest carrier by destinations, seats and available seat miles (ASM)
More than 200% growth in Puerto Rico in the past four years” – Spirit“
The Ultra Low-Cost Carrier is launching with $59 one-ways to new cities.
Spirit’s footprint at the airport is marked by major markets and specifically hub cities. Ten of the airline’s 13 destinations are hubs for either Southwest, United, American, Delta, or JetBlue.
|Spirit Airlines Routes at San Juan (SJU)|
|Destination:||Flights Available:||Launch Date:|
|Atlanta (ATL) NEW||Daily||5-May|
|Hartford (BDL) NEW||3x Weekly||7-Jun|
|Baltimore (BWI)||2x Daily||Frequency increases on May 5|
|Dallas (DFW) NEW||Daily||5-May|
|Detroit (DTW) NEW||Daily||5-May|
|Newark (EWR)||2x Daily||Frequency increases on June 7|
|Fort Lauderdale (FLL)||2x Daily||Frequency increases on April 5|
|Orlando (MCO)||5x Daily||Frequency increases on May 5|
|Miami (MIA)||Daily||Existing Service|
|Chicago (ORD) NEW||Daily||5-May|
|Philadelphia (PHL)||Daily||Existing Service|
|Tampa (TPA)||Daily||Existing Service|
Targets Delta, American Airlines
Delta will see a direct challenge with two of the new daily flight additions targeting Detroit and Atlanta. American Airlines, however, should feel some pressure with new daily flights to Chicago O’Hare and Dallas Fort Worth, but also increased frequencies to Fort Lauderdale and maintainence of its Miami flight as well.
American Airlines and US Airways more or less owned SJU with the latter flying long-haul premium product A330s on the route seasonally from Charlotte and Philadelphia. American remains the largest carrier at the airport despite these advances, but Spirit is demonstrating that customers have responded to its business model and it won’t be intimidated from expanding where there is opportunity.
Spirit Airlines continues to grow and expand even into tough major markets that serve as fortress hubs for competitors. San Juan, Puerto Rico benefits from additional traffic making resident travel easier and growing tourism. Spirit’s expanded presence also helps to keep prices low from those important corresponding cities. I’d love to see more competition against American’s dominance at SJU, but more importantly, Spirit is unafraid to take on any challengers and goes right at their core markets.
What do you think? Does Spirit’s growth at SJU help even if you don’t fly the carrier? Do you think its a clever or careless strategy to target competitor hubs?
American has no “dominance” at San Juan. It is, as you point out, the 5th largest there. Why do you contradict yourself? These days, JetBlue is the largest with the dominance.
Did you accidentally copy/paste that last paragraph from a 10 year old article?
AA serves only 5 destinations from SJU. At the time of the AA/US merger AA had already dehubbed SJU so US never dominated the island. AA had a small hub in the 1980s and 1990s with under 100 flights but never a domination of the island.
You get what you pay for. Spirit is a heavily discounted airline. Traveling to P.R. is OK if you carry a small overnight bag you can tuck under the front seat and a good paperback book to read. If you’re a frequent flyer to the island you can’t beat Southwest. I always worry about safety issues. Time will tell.
There’s only so much passenger yield with SJU. Most will be tourist on a budget, PAX cashing in loyalty points, or US government employees traveling on a contract rate….similar to Hawaii. It more for bragging right as opposed to solid revenue growth. And all of this will shift should the merger be approved as B6 attempts to penetrate the heartland of the US. Time will tell.