Sunday, 1 April 2018

Spirit to cut routes from Akron-Canton

The ultra-low-cost Spirit Airlines made a big deal about connecting Akron-Canton Airport with Myrtle Beach, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale little over a year ago.   At the time, Spirit's boss, CEO Bob Fornaro said he saw Cleveland's Akron-Canton (CAK ) airport and Cleveland Hopkins as complementary destinations and not competitor airports. "We're comfortable being in both," he said at the time. "The area is certainly big enough."   However, then end of the road has come for all but one Spirit service. The services to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Tampa will end this month and the seasonal Myrtle Beach service will not return this year. 

The airport will only be operating its service to Orlando from next month, its spokesperson Stephen Schuler said "We remain focused on connecting Akron-Canton to Orlando with our year-round service." yet refused to say why the airline is dropping all the other routes.  

Many airlines around the world would be happy to achieve a load factor of over 77 percent on a flight, particularly if it offered a similar routing from an airport just 50 miles up the road. Yet, it seems to Spirit 77.3 percent of bums on seats isn't enough to keep them flying.  Admittedly, the load factor for Spirit at the much bigger Cleveland Hopkins is higher at 82.9 percent, still below the carriers countrywide average of 83.3 percent. (Based on 2017 figures).