FORT MYERS, Fl. (WBBH) – Spirit Airlines is cutting nearly 40 routes across the country, with seven of those impacting travel out of Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW).
The airline told NBC-2 on Tuesday that the routes have been “temporarily suspended” going into their winter schedule. However, many of the routes are anticipated to return in 2023.
Spirit Airlines is making cuts to the following routes from Southwest Florida International Airport:
- Fort Myers to Hartford, Connecticut
- Fort Myers to Baltimore, Maryland
- Fort Myers to Cleveland, Ohio
- Fort Myers to Columbus, Ohio
- Fort Myers to Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Fort Myers to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Fort Myers to St. Louis, Missouri
“The seasonal routes that Spirit canceled at RSW were part of a larger reduction of service throughout Florida airports,” said an airport spokesperson. “All the markets that Spirit canceled are served by one or more other airlines at RSW, so travelers should not be impacted.”
Spirit Airlines, headquartered in Miramar, FL, said they’re also making cuts to other Florida airports, including Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Miami (MIA), Orlando (MCO), and Tampa (TPA).
“We are currently serving 7 of those 37 routes in November and plan on keeping 2 of those routes in our winter schedule,” a Spirit spokesperson told NBC-2. “We plan to resume most of these routes, if not all, in 2023. For example, the CLE/RSW route is expected to resume in January. Schedule changes happen periodically throughout the year, and they come with route additions, too. Also, for context, we fly about 800 flights a day.”
When asked for a reason why the airline made cuts to the routes, a spokesperson said they couldn’t provide a specific reason but “would like to stress that nearly all of the routes are expected to resume.”
In a third-quarter earnings call, Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie indicated the airline experienced some turbulence in its operations throughout the year, citing constraints from federal aviation operations.
“We were very vocal about the fact that we had to pull flying from the third quarter because of Florida ATC constraints, and that was a direct impact utilization,” Christie said. “It was not the answer we wanted. But that’s where we landed.”
In July, Spirit Airlines was purchased by JetBlue for $3.8 billion to create the nation’s fifth-largest airline. The deal came one day after a proposed merger with Frontier Airlines fell through.