Spirit Airlines leaves Denver International Airport

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A Spirit Airlines passenger jet taxis at Denver International Airport on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Federal Transportation Security Administration officials say the volume of air traffic is already approaching 2019 levels, which were the busiest on record for the TSA.

Spirit Airlines plans to pull out of Denver International Airport starting next year.

The low-cost carrier will stop flights out of Denver on January 9th, the airline said in a statement. Spirit blamed the move on problems with engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

“As we continue to learn more about how Pratt & Whitney’s GTF engine availability impacts our fleet and operations, we’re forced to make some tough choices,” the statement said. “After considering those constraints and the underperformance of our routes through Denver International Airport, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue service at the airport.”

Spirit said it will give refunds to customers with reservations after January 9th.

Spirit isn’t the only airline running into trouble with Pratt & Whitney engines. The manufacturer told airlines in September that hundreds of its Airbus jets would need to be grounded in order to check for defects due to a manufacturing flaw.

Spirit made big headlines in Colorado last year when Denver-based Frontier Airlines announced a merger between the two budget carriers. Frontier ultimately lost out on the deal when JetBlue stepped in with a better offer. JetBlue’s acquisition hasn’t been approved by federal regulators. The Biden administration is seeking to block the deal in court.