Spirit Airlines steps up to fill the void

PLATTSBURGH — Spirit Airlines is increasing its flights from two to three times weekly between Myrtle Beach and Plattsburgh.

The airline, which was recently criticized for distasteful advertising, was already scheduled to start offering two weekly trips in May.

“This represents a 50 percent increase in Spirit’s flights between Plattsburgh and Myrtle Beach, which is significant,” said North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas. “This reflects their success in this market to date, as well as a commitment to work with us to meet the additional demand for Myrtle Beach service that is now in play following the loss of DirectAir.”

DirectAir announced last month that it was postponing service and then filed for bankruptcy protection as the company sought to reorganize. It became clear that the company was mired in debt, and an investigation is underway into how company officials handled an escrow account.

A judge recently ordered DirectAir to liquidate its assets.

Douglas said that with the numbers provided, Spirit is “grasping the opportunity and helping to insure that we can continue to meet the demand for access to this popular destination.”

The Chamber and county also continue to encourage new service from Plattsburgh to Punta Gorda, which was successfully served by DirectAir.

“We have made the case to at least four carriers for their consideration and will be making a couple of visits in the next few weeks,” Douglas said.

Plattsburgh International Airport will still lose roughly 14,000 enplanements during April.

To celebrate its Myrtle Beach summer seasonal service, Spirit is offering fares from $28.79 from Myrtle Beach to/from Washington, DC; Plattsburgh; Niagara Falls; and Fort Lauderdale.

“We're pleased Spirit has decided to pick up these routes during the Myrtle Beach area's busy summer travel season,” said Brad Dean, President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB. “Access to affordable air service into the Myrtle Beach area is crucial to building our tourism economy.”

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