< Reveal sidebar

A Spirit A320neo taxis to the gate at New York-LaGuardia (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Shaquille Khan)

Spirit Airlines Becomes Latest Airline to Drop Cuban Operations

On Friday, South Florida-based Spirit Airlines announced that they would be pulling service to Cuba, joining fellow ultra-low cost carrier Frontier Airlines and regional carrier Silver Airways in leaving the island nation. 

Spirit’s sole Cuban route between Ft. Lauderdale and Havana will end on May 31.

Spirit’s flight to Havana started on December 1, but like other airlines are experiencing, the demand for Cuba isn’t living up to the initial expectations. Spirit CEO Bob Ferano cited over capacity on the routes, causing high costs that didn’t match Spirit’s fare model. Both Silver Airways and Frontier Airlines cited over capacity for cutting service as well.

Both American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have recently announced capacity cuts to Cuba. American is operating certain flights with their regional affiliates picking up flights to secondary cities in Cuba. 

Jetblue will be sending their Embraer E190 aircraft to secondary cities in Cuba while reducing Havana from the Airbus A321 to the Airbus A320.

One of the biggest issues with U.S. airlines flying to Cuba is that there are still many restrictions for people wanting to travel to the island. General tourism is still not allowed and people must be traveling for one of twelve different reasons to obtain a visa.

Although the demand hasn’t met expectations, it is likely that Spirit’s slots to Havana will be obtained by another airline. It is currently unknown how the slots given up by Spirit, Silver, and Frontier will be dispersed but it is likely airlines will have to submit proposals to the DOT, similar to the initial bid for Cuba slots.

Daniel Morley
Latest posts by Daniel Morley (see all)
Daniel Morley
Latest posts by Daniel Morley (see all)
Related Stories

Japan Airlines Will Begin Using Gender-Neutral Phrases When Addressing Passengers

Japan Airlines has announced new terminology to be used when addressing passengers in airports and on aircraft, and "ladies and…

United Contemplates Return to JFK After Five Year Hiatus

After its five-year absence at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, United Airlines has plans to resume flights from…

United Airlines Pilots Agree to Avoid Furloughs

The United Airlines chapter of the Air Lines Pilot Association has announced that none of its 13,000 pilots will be…