Spirit Airlines began service to its newest destination, Indianapolis, this week, marking the third ultra-low-cost carrier to serve the Indiana capital behind Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines. The airline began service Thursday evening with a flight to Las Vegas, a popular route for the city. Spirit’s second route from Indianapolis took off to Orlando on Friday morning.
The first flight was operated by one of the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft in its newest Base Fare yellow and black livery. Part of the festivities Thursday night included the airline giving away two tickets and a three-night hotel stay in Las Vegas to a Hoosier who was willing to show up at the airport for a spontaneous trip.
— Indianapolis Airport (@INDairport) March 14, 2019
Early bookings for the airline’s flights from the Circle City have impressed executives with the airline. Thursday’s inaugural flight left Indy with 130 passengers, a load factor of about 71 percent. Spirit now serves Indianapolis with daily, year-round flights to Orlando and Las Vegas. Seasonal flights from Indianapolis to Myrtle Beach will begin on May 2, capitalizing on the popular summer season and the desire of residents from the landlocked state to see the ocean.
Before the inaugural flight even took off, the airline announced it would be expanding service from Indianapolis. Airline and airport officials announced that Spirit would begin service to both Fort Myers and Tampa from the Circle City with both daily and year-round routes. The newly-announced routes are scheduled to begin on Nov. 19 and Indianapolis will become only the fourth year-round destination for Spirit at Fort Myers, a traditionally seasonal market for the airline.
Vice President of Network Planning John Kirby believes that Indianapolis is ripe for expansion, even though Spirit is already competing with ultra-low-cost rivals Allegiant and Frontier on many of its routes from Indianapolis. The airline has been impressed by early bookings, leaving the door open for more flights.
Indianapolis having a large leisure travel base is also appealing to the leisure-oriented airline. The Indianapolis Airport Authority is also giving the airline $50,000 in marketing support as a new carrier to the airport.
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