Spirit Airlines flew into Albuquerque (ABQ) for the first time on Wednesday, with the airline commencing daily flights between the New Mexico city and Las Vegas. The services mark Spirit’s first foray into New Mexico, with the airline pitching their new flights to their Nevada hub as a great option for Albuquerque locals looking to connect to Spirit flights to other US cities.
Daily Spirit flights into Albuquerque
The flights are a welcome boost for Albuquerque International Sunport. The oddly named airport says Spirit is the first new domestic airline to commence flights into ABQ in over five years. The last time a new US airline announced flights into ABQ was in 2016, when Allegiant Airlines began jetting in. More than five million passengers pass through the airport annually, and with Spirit Airlines’ arrival, eight US major carriers now service the airport.
Effective Wednesday, a Spirit Airbus A320 is departing Las Vegas (LAS) every day at 07:25. Flight NK2510 will take just over 90 minutes to fly to Albuquerque, touching down there at 09:56. The jet spends around one hour on the apron at Albuquerque before departing at 10:50. Flight NK2511 heads back to Las Vegas, with a scheduled landing time at 11:25.
“Albuquerque makes for a great debut into New Mexico,” said John Kirby, Vice President of Network Planning at Spirit Airlines. “We’re excited to welcome Albuquerque travelers onboard with daily nonstop service to the Entertainment Capital of the World, which also serves as a gateway to many other popular destinations in the Spirit Airlines Network.”
Spirit adds to the roster of major airlines flying into Albuquerque
Spirit is promoting the Las Vegas connection options available to passengers on services from Albuquerque. Spirit Airlines is the second-largest carrier by departing seats at LAS this year and is offering ex-Albuquerque passengers connecting flights through to Atlanta (ATL), Charlotte (CLT), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Houston ( IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), Oakland (OAK), Orlando (MCO), Portland (PDX), Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN), Seattle (SEA), and Tampa (TPA) .
Despite New Mexico’s busiest commercial airport adding the “international” tag to its name, there are presently no scheduled international flights from the airport. ABQ was comfortably passing the magic five million passenger mark before the pandemic. Southwest Airlines was the airline’s major carrier at the time, offering over half the flights in and out of the airport. Aside from Southwest and now Spirit, other airlines touching down at ABQ include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue, and United Airlines. A couple of smaller commuter-style operators also using the airport include Boutique Air and Advanced Airlines.
An aerial overview of Albuquerque International Sunport. Photo: Albuquerque International Sunport
The Albuquerque service is just one of three new Spirit Airlines routes from Las Vegas beginning in the first half of August. On Friday, daily flights to Boise (BOI) will commence, and on August 10, twice-daily flights to Reno (RNO) will start. On peak days, Spirit offers over 70 flights a day to over 40 nonstop destinations from LAS.
“We’re thrilled with that our partners at Spirit Airlines are continuing to expand nonstop service to Las Vegas with three new routes,” said H. Fletch Brunelle, Vice President of Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Las Vegas continues to flourish.”