Spirit likely to begin more international flights from Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Lauderdale
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Spirit Airlines sees more potential for international flights out of Dallas-Fort Worth, with destinations in Mexico as the most likely to be served.

The ultra low-cost carrier will launch flights from Dallas-Fort Worth to Toluca airport, Mexico City's secondary airport, from 21 June.

Saying that Dallas-Fort Worth was a "logical" place to launch flights to Mexico from, Spirit's chief executive Ben Baldanza says that US-Mexico travel has more affinity with US states like Texas and Arizona, instead of Florida, where Spirit's main Fort Lauderdale base is.

"Dallas has international potential to Mexico and maybe even Central America at some point," Baldanza tells Flightglobal. "It's a logical extension of the flying we are already doing in Dallas."

The carrier is now selling tickets on 14 routes from Dallas, three of which will be launched on 21 June. Besides the Toluca service, Spirit also plans to begin flights to San Diego and Detroit from Dallas-Fort Worth.

Spirit is still awaiting authorisations from Latin American authorities to begin one-stop service to Lima and Quito from Fort Lauderdale via Bogota. The airline would require fifth freedom traffic rights to operate on the Bogota-Lima and Bogota-Quito routes. Baldanza expects to receive these authorisations soon.

He also points out that Spirit will only launch the Quito flights later in the year when a new airport in the Ecuadorian city is ready at the end of the year. The current airport in Quito is located at a high altitude, says Baldanza, adding that it will not make sense for Spirit to start operations to the existing airport and then retrain their pilots to fly to the new airport.