Spirit has grown its route network from New York LaGuardia. It has put on sale Charlotte and Houston Intercontinental, both to be served 1x daily – the ULCC’s normal frequency. It’ll be the third airline to Charlotte and the fourth to the Houston airport.
On November 1st, barely a month away, Spirit will begin two more routes from New York LaGuardia. Based on mid-November, they’re timed as follows, with all times local. While it might change, 145-seat A319s, its smallest type, will be deployed; these have 10 Big Front seats and 135 in normal economy.
- New York LaGuardia to Charlotte: NK3921, 14:23-16:18 (1h 55m block time)
- New York LaGuardia to Houston Intercontinental: NK3924, 12:00-14:50 (3h 50m)
- Charlotte to New York LaGuardia: NK3920, 11:53-13:33 (1h 40m)
- Houston Intercontinental to New York LaGuardia: NK3923, 06:25-11:40 (3h 40m)
Spirit’s New York LaGuardia winter 2022 network. Nashville ceases at the end of October. Image: GCMap.
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It’s hardly surprising that both are big markets. Including all passengers – point-to-point (P2P) and transit – the US Department of Transportation shows that LaGuardia-Charlotte had 1,162,639 roundtrip passengers in 2019 (413,947 in 2020 and 723,281 in 2021). According to booking data, approximately six in every ten passengers were P2P: they only traveled between the two airports. They didn’t connect.
Meanwhile, LaGuardia-Houston Intercontinental had 810,771 passengers in pre-pandemic 2019 (192,292 in 2020 and 464,856 last year). This time, around seven in ten were P2P. Averaged across the whole of 2019, Houston’s P2P market was 784 passengers daily each way, against 956 for Charlotte.
American has 9x daily LaGuardia-Charlotte flights on November 1st. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.
Up to 16x daily
It’s the first time that both routes will have ULCC competition. The entry of Spirit means that they’ll each have up to 16x daily flights this winter. On November 1st, for example, the head-to-head competitive scene is as follows:
- Charlotte: 9x daily by American (B737-800, A321, A319), 6x daily by Delta (CRJ-900, E170), 1x daily by Spirit (A319)
- Houston Intercontinental: 8x daily by United (A319, A320, B737-700, E175), 4x by Delta (A220-100), 3x by American (E195, A319), 1x by Spirit (A319)
If LaGuardia to Houston Hobby is added, there will be 19x daily to Houston, thanks to Southwest’s 3x daily. At city level, there will be up to 32x NYC-Houston services a day and a maximum of 46x NYC-Charlotte.
Spirit will be the fourth airline to Houston Intercontinental. Photo: Spirit Airlines.
Now eight winter routes
This winter, Spirit will fly from LaGuardia to Charlotte (1x daily, A319), Dallas Fort Worth (1x daily, A321), Detroit (2x daily, A319/A320/A321), Fort Lauderdale (3x daily, A321), Houston Intercontinental (1x daily, A319), Miami (mainly 2x daily, A321/A320), Myrtle Beach (2x daily, A320), and Orlando (mainly 3x daily, A321/A320).
Note that Nashville, which began in May 2021, ends on October 31st. As the Northern Hemisphere winter 2022 season begins on October 30th, it will technically be served very briefly this winter, but obviously not really. I mention it for completeness.
In the past decade, other routes operated, including during the winter – and not just Nashville. These included Chicago O’Hare (until mid-2020), Los Angeles (Saturday only due to the perimeter rule; until June 2022), Phoenix (Saturday-only due to the perimeter rule; until April 2022), Tampa (until May 2022), and San Juan (Saturday-only due to the perimeter rule; until June 2022).
Have you flown Spirit from LaGuardia? If so, share your experiences in the comments.