Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 1:05 pm

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?

Posts: 331
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2000 2:09 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 1:13 pm

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!!

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 1:29 pm

Indeed, Spirit offers very cheap fares on its direct LGA-LAX service (onestop in DTW). JetBlue should pay attention.
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 2:50 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 2:59 pm

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.
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 4:54 pm

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.
Falcon Flyer
Posts: 1135
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2000 12:10 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 8:38 pm

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 avatar
Posts: 3874
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2000 7:37 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 9:59 pm


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

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Wed Oct 04, 2000 10:28 pm

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

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 2:43 am

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!

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 2:50 am

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?
Posts: 384
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 1999 6:19 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 4:23 am

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.

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 6:18 am

Yes but Valujet now flies 717. HA!!
Posts: 3967
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 8:06 am

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)

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 8:54 am

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

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 9:40 am

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..)

Posts: 3967
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Thu Oct 05, 2000 1:01 pm

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)
Posts: 55
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:32 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Fri Oct 06, 2000 5:11 pm

Spirit Rocks!!!!!!!!!!!
Jet Blue needs more money to stay around!
SWA is gonna burn Jet Blue.
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 8:57 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 9:18 am

Yeah, JB's biggest danger is from SWA
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 12:15 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 10:04 am

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.
Posts: 3967
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 2:24 pm

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)

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Sat Oct 07, 2000 2:51 pm

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.
Posts: 331
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 1999 4:51 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Mon Oct 16, 2000 11:07 am

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.

"Is this the life that you lead... or the life that's led for you?"

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Mon Oct 16, 2000 2:19 pm

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.

Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:39 am

RE: Spirit Airlines- JetBlue Killer?

Mon Oct 16, 2000 2:22 pm

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.

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos