A merged Spirit and Frontier at Florida’s four busiest airports – a potential behemoth in the Sunshine State

Competitive issues are abound nationally in the proposed merger between Spirit and Frontier. But It is here in Florida, where the most overlap between the two airlines occurs, with approximately 60% of Spirit flights and 50% of Frontier flights touching the Sunshine State every day.

By Alan Wilson from Stilton, Peterborough, Cambs, UK (Airbus A320-232(w) ‘N641NK’ Spirit) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

In Florida’s four largest airports, the danger of competitive balance being skewed is quite large. But it’s also true most routes have other competition, and the idea of a synergy of these two carriers being behemoth that carries passengers to the Sunshine State is very appealing.

Frontier’s five largest stations in March 2022:

1- Denver

2- Orlando

3- Las Vegas

4- Philadelphia

5- Tampa

Spirit’s five largest stations in March 2022:

1- Fort Lauderdale

2- Orlando

3- Las Vegas

4- Detroit

5- Miami

As noted above, both airlines are heavily dependent on traffic to/from Florida’s major airports.

Let’s look at Florida’s four major airports destination-wise as designated by the FAA:

Orlando International (MCO)

Bold indicates destination also served nonstop from MCO by an airline other than Spirit or Frontier – note this does NOT include nonstop service from SFB (Sanford Airport) on Allegiant. 

Frontier nonstop destinations from Orlando 

Aguadilla Albany, Antigua, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Belize City, Bloomington/Normal, Boston, Buffalo, Burlington, Cancún, Cedar Rapids, Charlotte, Chicago–Midway, Chicago–O’Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado Springs, Columbus–Glenn, Cozumel, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, El Paso, Fargo, Fayetteville/Bentonville, Fort Lauderdale Fort Myers, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Harlingen, Harrisburg, Hartford/Springfield, Houston–Hobby Houston–Intercontinental, Huntsville, Indianapolis, Jackson (MS), Kansas City, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Liberia (CR), Long Island/Islip, Louisville, Madison, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montego Bay, Nashville, Nassau, Newburgh, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Ontario, Pensacola, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Phoenix–Sky Harbor, Portland (ME), Providence, Providenciales, Punta Cana, Raleigh/Durham, Rochester (NY), San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose, San Juan, San Salvador, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Sioux Falls, St. Louis, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Syracuse, Trenton, Wilmington (DE)

Spirit nonstop from Orlando: 

Aguadilla, Akron/Canton, Atlanta, Atlantic City, Austin, Baltimore, Bogotá, Boston, Cancún, Cartagena, Charleston (WV), Charlotte, Chicago–O’Hare, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Guatemala City, Hartford/Springfield, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Latrobe/Pittsburgh, Louisville, Manchester (NH), Medellín–JMC, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montego Bay, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Ponce, Punta Cana, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San José de Costa Rica, San Juan, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, St. Louis, St. Thomas

Miami International (MIA)

Bold indicates destination also served nonstop from MIA by an airline other than Spirit or Frontier 

Frontier from Miami

Aruba, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Cancún, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Guatemala City, Hartford/Springfield Las Vegas, Memphis, Montego Bay, Nassau, New York–LaGuardia, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providenciales, Punta Cana, Raleigh/Durham, St. Louis, St. Thomas, San Juan, San Salvador, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Trenton

Spirit from Miami

Atlanta, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Boston, Cali, Chicago–O’Hare, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Guatemala City, Hartford/Springfield, Houston–Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Medellín–JMC, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Myrtle Beach, Newark, New York–LaGuardia, Orlando, Philadelphia, Port-au-Prince, Raleigh/Durham, St. Thomas, San José (CR), San Juan, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Tegucigalpa-Comayagua

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International (FLL)

Bold indicates destination also served nonstop from FLL by an airline other than Spirit or Frontier 

Frontier from Fort Lauderdale

Albany, Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago–Midway, Green Bay, Long Island/Islip, Newburgh, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Providence, Rochester (NY), Syracuse, Trenton 

Spirit from Fort Lauderdale 

Aguadilla, Armenia, Aruba, Atlanta, Atlantic City, Austin, Baltimore, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Boston, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cancún, Cap-Haïtien, Cartagena, Charlotte, Chicago–O’Hare, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Guatemala City, Guayaquil, Hartford/Springfield, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Kingston, Las Vegas, Latrobe, Lima, Los Angeles, Louisville, Managua, Manchester (NH), Medellín–JMC, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montego Bay, Myrtle Beach, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, New York–LaGuardia, Orlando, Panama City, Pensacola, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Port-au-Prince, Punta Cana, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, San José (CR), San Juan, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, St. Croix, St. Louis, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Tampa, Tegucigalpa-Comayagua

Tampa International (TPA)

Bold indicates destination also served nonstop from TPA by an airline other than Spirit or Frontier – note this does NOT include nonstop service from PIE (St Pete/Clearwater Airport) on Allegiant. 

Frontier from Tampa

Albany, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago–Midway, Columbus–Glenn, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Las Vegas, Long Island/Islip, Milwaukee, Newburgh, Newark, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Rochester (NY), Syracuse, Trenton

Spirit from Tampa 

Akron/Canton, Atlanta, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago–O’Hare, Cleveland, Columbus–Glenn, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford/Springfield, Houston–Intercontinental, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Latrobe, Louisville, Manchester (NH), Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Newark, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Juan

As noted above, most destinations served by either airline have competition and just about every city pair served by both carriers have a third airline flying it.

3 comments

  1. The merged airline is saying it will, “create $1 billion in annual cost savings” which will mean consumers save $1 billion. It also claims it “expect(s) to add 10,000 direct jobs” by 2026. Is this even theoretically possible? I suppose they could sell off a lot of their fleet if they have overlapping flights. From the company’s perspective it is free to pontificate about a goldy locks future, as there is nothing legally biding about it. If it were bound, the stockholders might be racing for the exists. As it is, they are racing to buy more shares. This phenomenon is a testament to the American public’s high tolerance for bs from corporations. The recent Sprint-T-Mobile merger made a pledge to add 11,000 and have eliminated 5000. There has been little fallout. Will Biden’s new team demand any meaningful concessions or block the deal? There are some new cops on the beat, but I have a feeling somewhere Bud Fox and Gordon Gekko are lighting stogies and yucking it up about Blue Star airlines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unlike the Obama administration which rubber-stamped corporate mergers and bought the b/s, Garland strikes me as much more vigilant on this matter. I think he extracts concessions or blocks it entirely.

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  2. […] Four busiest Florida airports merged airline picture […]

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