Spirit Airlines Sets Its Sights On San Diego From Oakland

The low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has announced they will add nonstop service between San Diego International Airport (SAN) and Oakland, California via the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (OAK), beginning on May 25.

The new route

Spirit Airlines is launching a new route from San Diego International Airport for the first time since 2017. The low-cost operator will fly once daily between San Diego and Oakland’s Metropolitan International Airport. Southwest Airlines is currently the only carrier flying this route, with 56 flights per week.


Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO, said,

“We appreciate Spirit Airlines growing their service at SAN and providing another option for San Diegans to get to the Bay Area.”

Flights between Oakland and San Diego will operate once daily, beginning on May 25. Spirit Airlines also offers year-round nonstop service from SAN to Las Vegas via Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) and summer seasonal service to Dallas/Fort Worth via Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Houston via George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Chicago via Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), and Detroit via Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW).

Spirit Airlines Airbus A320-271N N915NK.jpg (2)

Spirit Airlines will fly daily between San Diego and Oakland. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

San Diego’s connectivity

As mentioned before, Southwest is the only carrier operating flights between San Diego and Oakland, with nine daily flights. The airline expects to serve as many as 12 daily roundtrips between the two cities by the summer, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

In March, San Diego’s airport has approximately 1,500 flights per week. Southwest is the airport’s leading carrier, with 543 scheduled flights per week and about 33% of the market share, according to data provided by Cirium. Other airlines flying to San Diego are Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines (each of these previous operators have over 100 flights per week in SAN), Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, Air Canada, Hawaiian, British Airways, Sun Country, Allegiant Air, WestJet, Japan Airlines, and Swoop.

Spirit Airlines only has around 1.3% of the market share in the airport.

San Diego in 2021

In 2021, SAN continued to be significantly impacted by COVID-19. The airport’s traffic was still down 38% from 2019, having only 15.6 million passengers (compared to the 25.2 million prior to the pandemic crisis).

San Diego received 18 new routes from five airlines despite the challenging environment. These new routes were:

  1. Alaska Airlines: Bozeman, Kalispell, New York JFK, Missoula, and Santa Barbara
  2. Allegiant: Mesa, Bozeman, Des Moines, Kalispell, and Pasco
  3. Frontier: Dallas Fort Worth
  4. Southwest: Bozeman, Kona, Lihue, Minneapolis, Kahului, and Norfolk.
  5. Swoop: Edmonton.

Spirit Airlines Airbus A320-271N N932NK

Spirit Airlines also flies to Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Detroit from San Diego. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Spirit Airlines in 2022

So far, Spirit Airlines has been pretty active in 2022. First of all, Spirit and Frontier announced their intention to merge, creating a mega ultra-low-cost carrier in the United States.

In terms of new routes, the airline recently announced it will add two new crew bases in Miami and Atlanta, as it sees traffic growing dramatically in the coming months.

Spirit Airlines also announced new flights from Austin and Houston to Monterrey, Mexico, expanding its presence in the Latin American country. The airline is also back in Puerto Rico, returning to the local destination of Ponce after more than 13 years.


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