Spirit Airlines’ yellow Airbus jets will soon land in Silicon Valley.
The Miramar, Florida-based carrier announced Thursday that it’s adding a brand-new route map pin in San Jose, California, starting June 7.
At the outset, Spirit will fly three routes from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to Las Vegas, Dallas-Fort Worth and San Diego.
Service to Vegas will operate twice daily, while the other two routes will fly once a day.
San Jose will become Spirit’s seventh airport served in California, joining the six existing destinations listed below:
- Los Angeles.
- Orange County.
- San Diego.
Spirit’s entrance in San Jose is exciting because it reflects a broader shift in the return of leisure travel to an aviation market that was hit hard by the pandemic.
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The airport lost much of its international service at the outset of the pandemic, and Spirit’s biggest no-frills competitor, Frontier Airlines, even pulled out of the city in September 2021.
Additionally, Delta Air Lines decided during the pandemic that it would drop San Jose as a focus city, which included cutting its key transcontinental flight to New York.
Now, Spirit’s entrance will make it the only ultra-low-cost carrier serving San Jose, which should bring lower fares to the routes that the airline will serve.
“Today’s announcement is a step forward for our Airport, our City, and for air travel in our region,” John Aitken, director of aviation for SJC, said in a statement. “This new partnership reflects a return to leisure travel and demonstrates how aviation markets are shifting to expand toward new opportunities and approaches. We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the Spirit Airlines team to San Jose and to offer their unique and innovative brand at SJC,” he added.
Notably, Spirit isn’t adding any new “lines” to SJC’s route map. Spirit will go up against Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines on its new intra-California route. Southwest also flies from San Jose to Las Vegas, while American Airlines has historically enjoyed a monopoly on the route between San Jose and Dallas-Fort Worth.
That said, the carrier is coming in with some attractive introductory fares, starting at $39 to Las Vegas, $59 to San Diego and $89 to Dallas-Fort Worth. It will be interesting to see how Spirit’s competitors respond.