Spirit plans reduction in flights

Low cost US carrier Spirit Airlines is to cut down the number of flights on its Fort Lauderdale/Grand Cayman route.

Director of Corporate Communications with the airline, Alison Russell said while they are looking to reduce the flights, which are now daily, this would be in line with seasonal adjustments.

To sustain a daily frequency, good demand is needed.

‘It drops off during hurricane season,’ Ms Russell said, in explaining why the seasonal adjustment would be necessary.

And with the peak of hurricane season approaching, an announcement will shortly be made on a reduction in flights, she said.

Such a reduction is not unusual for the airline to do at this time of year for a destination in the Caribbean, she said.

‘We make adjustments in many markets. It’s nothing unusual,’ she said.

‘In terms of when and what we’ll bring back we’re not sure, but that really comes down to demand and how the destination is for the traveller.’

If the demand is there after hurricane season the fights may be ramped back up again, but it all boils down to travel patterns, and how attractive the destination is to customers, including price-wise, and also on the competitive market.

In general, the flights have been doing pretty well, she said, but demand has to be continually looked at and the frequency that can be provided based on that.

The Caribbean is a very competitive market and travellers are looking at price more and more, she said.

‘Passengers are increasingly price conscious and a lot depends on how competitive hotels can be – it really does count,’ she said.

‘We enjoy flying to the Cayman Islands and providing the service and our passengers really enjoy visiting,’ she said.

‘We will continue to work with everyone to make the Cayman Islands as competitive for travellers as possible,’ she said. ‘It’s a wonderful destination.’

Spirit Airlines started its Grand Cayman/Fort Lauderdale route on 9 February, 2006.

Earlier this year, Cayman Airways, which had also run flights between Grand Cayman and Fort Lauderdale pulled out of that market. CEO Patrick Strasburger said the market size wasn’t there to uphold the flights, and that Fort Lauderdale was competing with nearby Miami.

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