Spirit adds BWI Marshall to Boston flights after JetBlue pulls out

A Spirit plane sits on the tarmac(Courtesy Spirit Airlines/BWI Marshall Airport)

Spirit Airlines is adding flights from Maryland’s BWI Marshall Airport to four new cities, including twice-a-day service to Boston, just as JetBlue Airways ended its BWI Marshall to Boston flights.

Spirit will begin flights to Boston on May 8. JetBlue’s final flight from BWI Marshall to Boston is May 1, effectively ending JetBlue’s presence at the airport.

Spirit is also adding five nonstop flights per week from BWI to Portland, Oregon, starting May 8. Beginning May 9, the airline will add five flights to New Orleans per week and three per week to San Diego.

With the new flights, Spirit will operate service from BWI to 16 markets, making it the second largest carrier at the airport, behind Southwest Airlines.

In announcing its decision to end its BWI to Boston flights, JetBlue cited underperformance and lack of customer demand. JetBlue is also dropping its flights from Reagan National Airport to JFK Airport in May, among 14 routes it is eliminating nationwide.

The cuts and additions by JetBlue and Spirit come after a U.S. District Court sided with the Justice Department on Jan. 16, blocking JetBlue’s $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit. The two airlines terminated the merger agreement Monday.

Airline traffic at BWI Marshall continues to grow. As measured by airline seat capacity, it is up 5% from a year ago this quarter, and 2% higher than the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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