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Spirit Airlines to launch new nonstop service to 3 western cities

Updated March 17, 2022 - 7:13 am

Las Vegas airport’s second-busiest carrier, Spirit Airlines, is about to get even busier with the addition of several new routes serving Southern Nevada.

The airline announced Wednesday that new routes to Reno; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Boise, Idaho, would launch in August.

John Kirby, Spirit vice president of network planning, said the new routes are a key moment in further connecting other western cities to Harry Reid International Airport as the airline celebrates its 20th year in Las Vegas.

“Announcing three new markets is an exciting milestone for Spirit Airlines and our guests as we deliver more high-value options for travel between the bright lights of Vegas and the huge variety of beautiful places to visit in New Mexico, Idaho and Northern Nevada,” Kirby said.

Albuquerque’s daily flights begin Aug. 3; Boise’s daily service starts Aug. 5; and Reno’s twice-daily flights launch Aug. 10.

With the addition of the three newly announced cities, Spirit now serves 41 nonstop destinations to Las Vegas. At its busiest, the airline will operate 75 peak-day departures, representing a nearly 30 percent year-over-year increase in Las Vegas.

“These new routes we’re adding don’t even start until August,” Kirby said. “So we’re going to be far bigger than we’ve ever been in Las Vegas.”

Spirit was the second-busiest carrier at Reid airport last year, serving 4.7 million passengers. Southwest Airlines was the busiest carrier at Reid airport, serving 13.97 million passengers in 2021.

A deal is pending to merge Spirit with Frontier Airlines, 2021’s third-busiest carrier with almost 4 million passengers at Reid airport.

Kirby noted that they will keep looking at other markets to connect to Las Vegas, as they plan to grow Spirit’s presence even more at Reid airport.

“We only have 54 destinations in the lower 48. … By contrast, Allegiant (Air) for example has 127 destinations in the lower 48,” Kirby said. “So, there are a lot of destinations that Spirit doesn’t go to today that can be future nonstop flights to Vegas. We think there’s a tremendous road for growth.”

The three new cities also allow travelers to connect to other destinations from Las Vegas, including two other new markets Spirit recently announced: nonstop service from Reid International to Memphis, Tennessee, and Salt Lake City. The once-daily service to Memphis begins April 20, while Salt Lake City’s twice-daily flights begin May 26.

“Talking about these three new markets: Reno, there’s the Legislature and a lot of families have kids that go to college up there, or kids from Reno come down here,” said Chris Jones, Reid airport spokesman. “Boise, you’ve got a similar situation, where you have a very robust sports group of people who will come down for different conference tournaments, and you can say the same thing thinking of Albuquerque.”

Jones noted that this year has been a busy one for Reid airport as it continues to recover from pandemic-related lows. Through March, 21 new routes to Las Vegas have been announced, representing about 800,000 additional seats.

“That is one announcement off from the most announcements that we’ve ever had in a quarter,” Jones said. “That to me speaks of the strength of Las Vegas and the product that’s there. It speaks to the strength of the partnerships we have with the different airlines like Spirit that are recognizing people want to come here.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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