Spirit Airlines will drop its Fort Lauderdale-Havana route at the end of May. Photo: Spirit Airlines
By Caribbean News Now contributor
FORT LAUDERDALE, USA -- On Friday, Spirit Airlines cancelled its routes to Havana, Cuba, becoming the third airline after ultra-low cost carrier Frontier Airlines and regional airline Silver Airways to drop service to Cuba this spring.
Last year, US airlines were allowed to begin offering scheduled service to Cuba for the first time in more than half a century and in early 2016 more than a dozen US airlines applied for permission to begin flights to Havana.
The US Department of Transportation awarded carriers 12 daily flights to Havana from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, spread across six airlines.
However, in pulling out of the Miami-Havana market, Frontier Airlines noted that overcapacity had forced fares down to extremely low levels, and Spirit Airlines has faced the same issues.
In the meantime, JetBlue and Southwest both seem to be sticking with their routes to Cuba, given that the market does have long term potential, notwithstanding the unexpectedly slow start.