Spirit Airlines Expands Las Vegas Operations Ahead of Frontier Merger

Posted on: March 17, 2022, 11:21h. 

Last updated on: March 17, 2022, 11:48h.

Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines are working towards merging the two ultra low-cost carriers (ULCC) through a proposed $6.6 billion alignment. And ahead of the fusion, the two airlines are expanding their Las Vegas operations.

Spirit Airlines Las Vegas airport Harry Reid International LAS
A Spirit Airlines jet takes off from Harry Reid International Airport, then known as McCarran, on June 5, 2017. Spirit is expanding its service in and out of Las Vegas. (Image: Vegas Inc.)

Just days after Frontier announced seven additional routes through Harry Reid International, Spirit is following suit with its own new service to Las Vegas’ main commercial hub. Spirit announced yesterday that, starting in August, it will begin daily service from Las Vegas to and from Boise, Idaho, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Reno, Nevada.

Spirit is currently responsible for the second-most passenger traffic at LAS. In August, its gates will become even busier.

Announcing three new markets is an exciting milestone for Spirit Airlines and our guests as we deliver more high-value options for travel between the bright lights of Vegas and the huge variety of beautiful places to visit in New Mexico, Idaho, and Northern Nevada,” said John Kirby, Spirit’s vice president of network planning.

Kirby said the expansion comes as Spirit celebrates its 20th year serving Las Vegas.

Bullish on Vegas

Spirit and Frontier airlines are quite optimistic about Las Vegas in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. When Spirit’s service expands at LAS this summer, the airliner says it will have nonstop service to 41 destinations. The company explains that its LAS service come August will have expanded by 30%, compared with 2021.

Frontier kicked off this week by announcing three new nonstop destinations with Las Vegas — Albuquerque, as well as Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico.

Spirit and Frontier collectively facilitated 8.6 million passengers through Las Vegas’ international airport last year. Only Southwest catered to more passengers, at 14 million.

LAS is where the majority of Las Vegas casino visitors arrive in town. The airport counted more than 38.1 million passengers last year, which was 72% better than 2020, but still 18% below 2019.

Spirit and Frontier believe demand for trips to Las Vegas will be robust in 2022 and ahead. Kirby told reporters yesterday at a media event that Spirit’s latest expansion at Harry Reid is likely only the beginning.

“There are a lot of destinations that Spirit doesn’t go to today that can be future nonstop flights to Vegas. We think there’s a tremendous road for growth,” Kirby said.

Southern Nevada Growing

2022 is only two and a half months in, but it’s already been a busy year for Harry Reid International. With this week’s Spirit and Frontier news, airport officials say 21 total new routes to LAS have been announced so far this year.

From stadium concerts to high-stakes sporting events, 2021 was a dress rehearsal for what LAS and the community can expect as Las Vegas solidifies its position as the premier entertainment destination,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, Clark County Director of Aviation. “Southern Nevada is always changing, and while the airport may have a new name, our long-standing dedication to world-class customer service remains the same.”

Las Vegas’ airport was the nation’s seventh-busiest in total passenger traffic in 2020.

Las Vegas is additionally one of the hottest housing markets in the nation. Many Californians continue to flee in favor of Nevada, which has no state income tax.