With local airline activity returning to pre-pandemic levels and the Southwest Airlines holiday travel disaster casting uncertainty over its future, a new carrier has jumped into the local market with three new routes. Amidst a spate of gloomy news emanating from Silicon Valley, the revelation that at least it will be cheaper and more convenient to get out of town was an event celebrated by municipal officials.
Florida-based low cost carrier Spirit Airlines will fly out of San Jose for the first time in June. It announced the move amidst much fanfare—with balloon arches in its corporate colors, cake pops and a cameo by Mayor Matt Mahan—at a 10am press event on Feb. 16 at San Jose Mineta International Airport.
The carrier is kicking off the new direct flights with two daily hops to Las Vegas and daily service to Dallas and San Diego beginning June 7.
“Today’s announcement is a step forward for our airport, our city, and for air travel in our region,” said John Aitken, San Jose Mineta International Airport director of aviation. “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.”
The new service marks the seventh airport the Florida company serves in the state; the others are Burbank, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange County, Sacramento and San Diego. Spirit first launched California service in Los Angeles in 2000 and has grown to more than 55 daily departures to 23 out-of-state destinations. In the past three years, the carrier has grown the number of California flights by 41% and seats by 46%.
Spirit announced introductory fares on the new routes for a limited time, with travel date restrictions. Fares include one-way flights from San Jose to Dallas (starting at $89), Las Vegas (starting at $39) and San Diego (starting at $59).