Spirit Airlines will head back to Latin America from Orlando just in time for the holidays. The Florida-based carrier is re-launching six nonstop international routes aimed at providing More Go for vacationers and people visiting friends and family. It marks the first time Spirit’s bright-yellow planes will fly internationally from Central Florida since border closures began in March.
Spirit plans to reintroduce Latin American destinations from Orlando International Airport (MCO) gradually throughout the month of December, beginning with service to Colombia and Honduras. Within weeks, the airline will add Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador along with additional Colombian flights.
In the Caribbean, people travelling to Puerto Rico will have more options at the beginning of 2021. Spirit plans to reactivate its service to Aguadilla (BQN) once the airport re-opens in January. Daily flights to the island’s northwestern tip will complement Spirit’s existing service to San Juan (SJU), which runs up to five times each day.
“Holidays are the time to see family and friends, and we’re excited to offer so many nonstop international options from Central Florida,” Spirit Airlines Vice President of Network Planning John Kirby said. “We’re the only major airline based in Florida, and the Orlando market is one of our largest gateways. We know how valuable it is for people to jump on a plane and fly nonstop to their destination without having to connect through a busy hub.”
Spirit carried 2.6 million Guests at MCO in 2019. The airline reactivated most of its domestic network from the airport in July as the demand for air travel began to rebound. Resuming international service at MCO bumps up Spirit’s operation at the airport to 38 nonstop destinations throughout the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. The airline will offer Guests an average of 53 flights each day during the December travel period. That’s a ten-fold increase compared to the five flights available each day when demand for air travel was at its lowest in 2020.
“International service to Orlando International benefits the entire community and our tourism partners,” Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chief Executive Officer Phil Brown said. “We’re pleased Spirit is taking steps to rebuild that connectivity, including resuming service to international destinations currently suspended during the pandemic.”
Spirit started serving MCO in 1993 and grew into one of Central Florida’s major job providers. The airline employs nearly 1,200 people in the Orlando area directly, and its operations support another 500 contractors in the region.
Spirit’s commitment to Safe Travels includes a multi-layered safety approach that requires all Guests and Team Members to wear face coverings. Each passenger agrees to that policy as part of a health and safety acknowledgement prior to boarding the aircraft. Every plane in their Fit Fleet uses state-of-the-art, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that capture 99.97% of particles and filter the air for contaminants every 3 minutes.
Between each flight, enhanced cleaning procedures focus on high-touch areas such as tray tables and armrests using hospital-grade disinfectants. Spirit also uses two EPA-registered fogging treatments. The first applies a safe, high-grade disinfectant that’s effective against coronaviruses. The second uses an antimicrobial product that forms an invisible barrier on all surfaces that kills bacteria and viruses on contact for 30 days.