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Spirit (SAVE) to Expand Orlando Operations Significantly

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With air-travel demand (especially for leisure) picking up, post a sharp rise in the number of people getting inoculated, Spirit Airlines, Inc. (SAVE - Free Report) revealed plans to operate its largest-ever Orlando schedule. With this, the carrier expects to provide more than 80 daily departures from Orlando International Airport (MCO) by the end of 2021.

The Florida-based carrier confirmed its plans to restore its pre-pandemic routes from MCO. Starting Sep 9, the carrier will resume its services to Guatemala City (four times a week) and Montego Bay (three times a week). From Sep 10, Cartagena route will be functional again for two to three times a week. Port-au-Prince (thrice a week) and San Salvador (thrice a week) routes will be operational again from Nov 18 and Nov 19, respectively. Moreover, the airline will be increasing its San Jose, Costa Rica route to daily service from Nov 17.

From MCO, Spirit Airlines has planned plenty of new services.  New routes include daily service to Cancun, Louisville, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Manchester (starting Oct 7) and Miami (starting Oct 17). Apart from services to Manchester and Miami, all other routes will be effective on an immediate basis. Two new routes including Punta Cana (three time a week) and Santo Domingo (four times a week) will also commence on an immediate basis.

Spirit Airlines will now offer its passengers roughly 20 more flights and 10 new destinations each day than it did two years ago. Its Orlando operations will be 45% more than they were at the end of 2019, following the activation of new and resumed routes. This robust expansion plan on materializing will make Spirit Airlines the largest international airline in Orlando. On an overall basis, the impending expansion will make Spirit Airlines the second-largest carrier operating out of MCO.

We believe that the activation of new and resumed routes will help the airline recover from prolonged COVID-19 led crisis by attracting substantial traffic. This will likely boost the carrier’s top line.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Spirit Airlines currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader Zacks Transportation sector are Landstar System (LSTR - Free Report) , C.H. Robinson (CHRW - Free Report) and FedEx Corporation (FDX - Free Report) . Landstar and C.H. Robinson carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), while FedEx sports a Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term (three to five years) expected earnings per share growth rate for Landstar, C.H. Robinson and FedEx is projected at 12%, 9% and 12%, respectively.