Spirit Airlines will become the 10th airline serving
Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina when it launches seven routes there on May 2.
The ultralow-cost carrier will fly twice daily between
Raleigh-Durham and Baltimore as well as daily to Boston, Chicago O'Hare,
Detroit, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans.
Spirit will compete against at least two carriers on each of
those routes, according to the Flight Connections website. Its biggest target
will be Delta, which flies all the new Spirit routes except for Raleigh-Durham-Baltimore.
Other big targets are Southwest, which flies four of the routes, and Frontier,
which flies three of them.
Spirit will operate 145-seat Airbus A319s or 182-seat Airbus
A320s on the routes.
Spirit's launch in Raleigh-Durham comes as traffic at the
airport is growing rapidly. Airlines are scheduled to offer 15.7% more
departing seats from Raleigh-Durham during the current winter travel season
than they did last year -- the fourth-fastest growth rate among the 50 most
trafficked U.S. airports, according to OAG data.
Frontier led the way, adding nearly 154,000 seats, tripling
its Raleigh-Durham capacity. Delta, the airport's biggest operator, added
nearly 91,000 departing seats this winter -- an increase of 10.4%, according to