Southwest Airlines despite a fleet shortage in fall has yet to reduce any of its six frequencies to Cuba – five from Fort Lauderdale (to Havana, Varadero and Santa Clara) and one from Tampa (to Havana). Given the losses other airlines are suffering on these routes and the capacity cuts, Southwest is probably also bleeding cash but simply riding out the storm hoping to be the last airline standing. Spirit’s abandonment of Fort Lauderdale-Havana flights will no doubt embolden Southwest who is busy building a long-term plan for an international hub in Fort Lauderdale.
Spirit Airlines becomes the third carrier to pull south Florida-Cuba service
As we outlined four weeks ago, Silver Airlines is pulling all Fort Lauderdale to Cuba service in April (none destinations in all) and Frontier is dropping its only Cuba route, from Miami to Havana. American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have cut capacity already from their large operations at Miami and Fort Lauderdale respectively to Cuba.Spirit Airlines will pull its twice-daily Fort Lauderdale-Havana service effective July 1, leaving JetBlue and Southwest as the remaining airlines on the route.