Spirit Heads for Mall of America
Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) will begin offering service to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on May 31, the company announced Wednesday. The airline plans to fly to the Twin Cities from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport.
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The self-described ultra-low-cost carrier will offer three flights daily to Chicago and one to Las Vegas on either a 178-seat Airbus A320 or a 145-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Spirit, based in Miramar, Florida, has seen rapid growth in flights through these airports over the past year and now calls Chicago and Las Vegas its “focus cities.” The airports offer connections to 20 other U.S. destinations.
Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission, said, “Spirit Airlines is the fourth new carrier to announce service at MSP since 2008, highlighting the strength of the Minneapolis-St. Paul market for business and leisure travel services. Spirit’s decision to join the MSP community further ensures the region will continue to enjoy not only some of the most abundant air service per capita in the nation but also healthy competition on key routes.”
Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the airline is focusing on people who are traveling for fun. “We’re not looking for the business travelers necessarily,” Pinson said, adding that most of the carrier’s customers are traveling for leisure or personal reasons.
The Twin Cities’ Mall of America has always been a popular destination, both for domestic and foreign tourists. Attracting roughly 40 million visitors annually, it’s no wonder Spirit is hoping to get a piece of the pie.
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