Spirit Airways plans large Miami debut as airways battle for Florida

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A Spirit Airlines jet lands at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 25, 2020.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Spirit Airlines plans to expand to Miami International Airport later this year, increasing competition between airlines for Florida travelers.

Budget airline Spirit, based in Miramar, Florida, said late Tuesday it plans to offer flights from 30 cities, including New York, Cleveland and Denver, from October. Others include services to Cali and Medellin, Colombia, Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Miami is a major American Airlines hub, where the airline has provided robust service to Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as other domestic and international destinations.

Spirit isn’t the only competitor planning to expand into Miami. Southwest Airlines unveiled plans to launch Miami service last year as airlines searched for popular tourist destinations and took advantage of slack demand in many other destinations. United Airlines launched a number of point-to-point flights to Florida over the past year. The July capacity of airlines in the Sunshine State is the same as in 2019, while capacity for the entire US will decrease by about 17% next month compared to two years ago, according to industry group Airlines for America.

Spirit said it has no plans to reduce air traffic at its Fort Lauderdale, Florida hub.

“We are the largest airline in FLL and we want to stay that way,” said Spirit.

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