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Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?  
User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1607 times:

I never thought I'd be saying this, but I think JetBlue has some real competition on its hands. Who? Miramar, FL based Spirit Airlines. How do I come to this conclsion?

From LGA, Spirit has 3 daily r/ts to FLL, 1 daily r/t to PBI. 1 daily r/t to MCO, and 1 to TPA. While not hugely competitive to JB's 3 and 4 dailys to TPA and MCO, Spirit's fares are cheaper and the airline has the advanatge of flying from LGA. However, Spirit also gives its pax the choice of flying from EWR, 1x daily to PBI and 1x daily to MCO.

Yes Spirit doesn't have the fancy new planes, PTVs, or Prada like uniforms but its costs are lower and its fares cheaper. When word gets out, Spirit could become very popular.

Any comments?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineNY-JFK-LGA From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 374 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1515 times:

Well, Spirit is a little secret to everyone else, but I knew about this, they even have that flight from LGA to LAX via 1 stop in DTW I think, so jetBlue will get competition. But I like them both, Spirit operates the MD-80s, which is my ABSOLUTE favorite type of jet ever, and jetBlue is just cool, so I like both. I will be flying jetBlue's nonstop next month to Ontario, so I'll say how that was.

Bring back McDonnell Douglas & T W A!!
User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1481 times:

Indeed, Spirit offers very cheap fares on its direct LGA-LAX service (onestop in DTW). JetBlue should pay attention.

User currently offline777guy From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1448 times:

While Spirit is well managed one should not overlook JB's financing and the fact that they are already profitable.Good luck to both as consumers are the true winners here.

User currently offlineJohnboy From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2647 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1403 times:

While I was awaiting my Southwest flight from MCO-PHX last week, a Spirit jet pulled up to the gate at MCO, and disgorged the largest amount of passengers I've ever seen exit an MD-80. I couldn't believe there could be so many passengers on a plane of that size.

User currently offlineFalcon Flyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1346 times:

I would like to see both succeed. Spirit has come along way since it's early days flying Convairs to the Bahamas as Charter One. I also thought Carnival Air Lines would do well seeing how much they flew up and down the East Coast. You can't ignore Jetblue's financing as a major survival factor. Barring a major economical downturn I think JB is around to stay and will avoid the major mistakes made by previous startups.

My definition of cool ? Not trying so hard to be cool.
User currently offlinePANAM_DC10 From Australia, joined Aug 2000, 4270 posts, RR: 88
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1308 times:


Very valid point! I'd be interested to know how much capital Spirit has relative to the very well funded jetBlue
that could be a key survival factor as jetBlue has some very high profile financiers behind it.

Any info greatly appreciated


Ask the impossible to achieve the best possible
User currently offlineAa777dr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1303 times:

How long has spirit been around? And will you guys choose Spirit over TWA to fly to PBI or FLL?

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1240 times:

Spirit has been around for aprox. 15 years. Its origin as mentioned above was in the form of Detroit based charter operation called Charter One. Chariman Homfeld has expanded the line, renamed it, and refocused its strategy to scheduled routes up and down the east coast. He's done very well, Spirit has never had an unpofitable quarter in all the years since its conception!

I'd be preferential towards TWA of course, but if the price is right (as it is this upcoming thanksgiving), I'll take one of the low-cost guys. I'm presently booked on JB, even Spirit got a little high for me! They wanted 300+ to come back FLL-LGA on Sunday!! My arse. JB: only 179 or so.

As for the well known investors in JB, well Mr and Mrs Traveller in Pelham Bay Queens arent going to choose JB because some rich, snobbish, and very greedy world market maker (Soros), has put money into the operation. Westin Presidio is pracitically unknown on the east coast, unless of course your in the biz.

So while JB has lined up fabuolous amounts of money Spirit has already proven itself to be a well-run operation. Now its expanding its FLL base to ORD (2daily) and DCA (2daily), while also adding flights from ORD to MCO and RSW. Ambitious!

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1232 times:

There is of course a hiccup on the horizon, potentially serious. All the recent troubles of LGA and its inability to get flights out on time and now the recent PANYNJ action limiting flights.

Just in case, Spirit wisely hedged its bet on NY by adding new flights from EWR to offset troubles at LGA. SPirit has added flights to its FLL base (2daily) and in addition PBI, MCO, MYR have seen daily service.

I hope Spirit will look at new 717s and like TW look to pick up used md80s. AA sure has a lot! US and CO are phasing theirs out too, where are they going anyone know? Also, can the 717 make the 1017 mile trip from FLL to LGA and EWR?

User currently offlineFrontierMan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 413 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1214 times:

I think that Spirit is the next Valujet. They buy older planes to keep fares low. I see no need for a discount startup to buy expensive aircraft. These aircraft are reliable and fuel effiecient. Don't forget Spirit does charters to casinos. I see them frequently out at CAK.

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1186 times:

Yes but Valujet now flies 717. HA!!

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4595 posts, RR: 32
Reply 12, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1174 times:

Dear All,

Spirit looks to me like a strong competitor, but not threat to JetBlue, for several reasons.

First, they're aimed at different segments of the low-fare market. Spirit does a lot more charter, casino, and travel-agent work; JetBlue is aimed at more general leisure travelers and offers a wide range of connections at one hub. This, I think, is why JB offers multiple nonstops--eg four daily A320s to Rochester, NY--on its routes. It's using AirTran's hub-and-spoke strategy.

Spirit also links large northern markets directly to Florida, and does not serve medium-sized or small cities (little Atlantic City fits its casino-special niche). JetBlue offers fare relief to Rochester, Buffalo, Burlington, and has Syracuse, Albany and other medium-sized cities in its plans. Feed the pax to JFK, redistribute them to a wide variety of markets. A plan that would not work at LaGuardia.

Both airlines' strategies are good ones, and if their respective managements can keep costs and expansions in line with their capital, both should look forward to prosperous futures. In the New York market proper, Spirit has the edge to Florida by using LaGuardia. But with JetBlue's feed that may not be a problem.

And yes, it's just fine to use old planes! Valujet was framed by the media. The 1996 crash had nothing to do with the aircraft, it was an improper load that burned through control lines. A problem that was easily corrected. The story of how Big Air manipulated the media to libel and smear low-fare carriers with old planes, after that crash, is a Pulitzer Prize waiting to be won. We all know that planes maintained properly can fly for decades, as Northwest's DC-9s are doing today. :+)

I'd fly a Spirit DC9 tomorrow if I was going somewhere were they flew. And whoever suggested taking in old AA MD80's, that's a good idea too. From those big cities, Spirit should have no trouble filling the bigger plane.

Jim K.
Washington, DC

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1164 times:

While Spirit isn't killing Jetblue, it probably isn't helping it either.

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1155 times:

well written responce DCAguy.

You seem to only sort of understand JB's plans. Yes it has it has of developed a hub connection system at T6. But most, in fact over 75%, of its bookings thus far, from what I've heard, are not connection but rather O&D traffic in greater New York. It helps that JB has timed its upstate flights to meet and even continue on to FL, but the airline isn't banking on connecting pax to pay the bills. In fact, as you may well know JB HAD to agree to fly to ROC, BUF, SYR etc... on condition with Sentators Schumer and Moynihan in order to get the congressional support for the 75 slot exemption openings it received. Weather upstate NY was ever in the original business plan is unclear, but thankfully, it has turned out well so far. Loads to the upstate communities, while still smaller than Fla, have been high. Burlington is starting out slow however. Look for JB to go back to $25 o/w special on that one. JB's bread and butter though is basically the same as Spirit's, that is cost-consicous NY travellers looking to get away to the south. JB has of course instituted wise actual and perceived market differentation (something quite rare in the industry) with its "cool, hip" aura, and the PTVs. With this balances against Spirit's slightly lower fares, LGA locale, and than the FF programmes of DL Express and Metrojet. Of course JetBlue will propser for a long time and its inital numbers are well-ahead of projections, Spirit has and will continue to make a dent, so long as this LGA situation doesn't get worse (more time bans, longer delays etc, PR injurys etc..)


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4595 posts, RR: 32
Reply 15, posted (15 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1126 times:

Thanks for the information Russell. Where do you get the info on JB traffic figures on specific routes?--I haven't been able to find it yet.

I was aware that Schumer, Moynihan and Rep. Slaughter had helped JetBlue get the JFK slots, but I didn't realize that that move had meant an adjustment of JetBlue's original plans. The percentage of JetBlue O&D pax will probably decline some as the route network increases, but you still can't beat NYC as an O&D market. That makes a lot of sense.

Looks like David Neeleman found out what any Upstate traveler could have told him (and our House members apparently did), that a lot of people there are ticked off about Big Air's oligopoly price gouging. It seems to me just and fitting that he had to get their support to launch a hub airline at a slot-restricted airport--low fares should be for all cities, not just the big cities.


Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineJetdude From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (15 years 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1102 times:

Spirit Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!
Jet Blue needs more money to stay around!
SWA is gonna burn Jet Blue.

User currently offlineSMcC From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (15 years 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1086 times:

Yeah, JB's biggest danger is from SWA

User currently offlineExusair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 684 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (15 years 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1080 times:

There is enough room in the Florida market for a bunch of carriers. The only airline with a dominating presence in Florida is DL. US gave up on Florida a few years ago because they couldn't operate profitably. AA in MIA is huge, but as for the rest of Florida, they are merely a footnote. JetBlue and Spirit can both operate down there for years, maybe JetBlue can operate a hub in TPA in a few years. I think TPA will make a great hub for an airline because it has room to grow, its weather problems (thunnderstorms) are very short term, and there is a huge business traveller base there.

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4595 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (15 years 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1071 times:

Dear All,

Southwest is not likely a threat to JetBlue. The Northeast is crying out for low-fare jet carriers and the two are serving the region with different strategies and so far, mostly different airports. Both of them will likely "live long and prosper" in the Northeast. Especially as long as Southwest continues their "pick a few cities and make everybody else drive" strategy, and JetBlue flies to the cities that Southwest neglects, like ROC, BTV, and probably soon SYR.

And even when their systems inevitably overlap more, there's still a lot of pent-up demand in the Northeast for low fares. US and DL should be more worried about WN than should JB. And as ExUsair noted, Florida can sustain a large number of carriers flying to and from the Northeast.

Jim K.
Washington, DC.

Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (15 years 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1071 times:

I agree, SWA and JetBlue are not true competitors. In fact they only really compete one one route: BUF-MCO. SWA flies once daily nonstop, JetBlue around 4 times daily with a stop in JFK. Also ISP and JFK really don't compete for the same customers on competing routes. ISP will win Suffolk county and eastern Nassau, but JFK commands all 8 million city folk and most of western Nassau county. JetBlue shouldn't be overly worried about SWA.

As for B6 TPA hub. Think again. Let JetBlue build a presence at JFK before bouncing around the country. If JetBlue announces a new hub of operations it won't be less than 7 years away and it'll be out west.

User currently offlineVarsity From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 339 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (14 years 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1060 times:

I love the idea of jetBlue, have yet to try them myself.

What worries me is AA and DL each planning terminals with 60 gates at JFK when they're not using any where near that now. Is each airline planning to develop its domestic network at JFK?

I think Southwest has to fly from someplace other than Islip to be taken seriously in the NY market. I'm surprised it didn't occur to them to offer low-fare domestic service from JFK years ago when nobody was doing it and the space could be had easily.

User currently offlineTWAneedsNOhelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (14 years 12 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1043 times:

NEVER!!! SW will never be at one of the in town airports (EWR, LGA, or JFK). Between delays, construction, competition, traffic, and high landing fees, it goes against all they stand for. If WN had started east and moved west, LAX would probably not be seeing the WN activity it does today. WN doesn't need to be "taken seriously" in the NYCity market, ISP is doing very well out in the L.I. suburbs. What is most likely in the region might be Newburg/Stuart or even White Plains. Nothing closer.


User currently offlineRepublic From Canada, joined Dec 2012, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (14 years 12 months 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1047 times:

JetBlue chose JFK for the reasons already posted. One thing that could be their undoing is the temptation, when they become a little larger, to enlarge their fleet and launch lower cost international service to Europe. If they stick to their business plan as a low fare carrier modeled in most ways along the lines of Southwest, they will be very successful. But my gut feeling is that they will feel the need to reach out across the Atlantic, a la PeoplesExpress. Southwest has stayed successful for close to 30 years by not deviating from their business plan. Hopefully, jetBlue will do so as well.

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