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Spirit Airlines to begin service from Pittsburgh International

Theresa Clift
| Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, 1:21 p.m.

Spirit Airlines soon will begin service at Pittsburgh International Airport, officials announced Tuesday.

The low-fare carrier will start nonstop, round-trip flights this spring and summer to seven cities: Los Angeles; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas/Fort Worth, Las Vegas and Houston.

"Spirit now becomes the 16th carrier at Pittsburgh International and the eighth new carrier in just over two years," Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said at a news conference. "During that time, the airport has gone from 37 nonstop destinations to 68 today."

Because the airport already provides nonstop flights to all seven cities, the airport did not provide a financial incentive to Spirit, said Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis.

The airport authority sometimes grants subsidies to airlines that add new destinations. Last year it gave $400,000 to WOW Air to add service to Iceland and $300,000 to Condor Airlines to add service to Frankfurt, Germany. It gave $28,493 to Allegiant Air to add service to Destin, Fla.

Pittsburgh becomes the ninth airport to offer flights from low-fare airlines Frontier, Allegiant and Spirit, Cassotis said.

The addition of a second daily flight to L.A. is important, Cassotis said.

Since August, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines had provided a daily flight to and from L.A., Cassotis said, but American stopped that service last week.

Spirit will begin the L.A. flights July 13.

"We have a robust film industry, and being able to offer more than one flight a day (to L.A.) is important," Cassotis said. "It's a market that can support two if not three (flights a day)."

The announcement does not affect Spirit's flights out of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity, Westmoreland County, which started in 2011, said Mark Kopczak, vice president of network planning for Spirit.

Flights to Myrtle Beach and Dallas/Fort Worth begin May 25.

Service to Fort Lauderdale begins June 15. Flights to Orlando and Las Vegas start June 22. And service to Houston and Los Angeles begins July 13.

All flights will be offered once daily, except Fort Lauderdale, which will be offered three days a week. Service to Myrtle Beach will be seasonal.

Tickets can be purchased immediately at www.spirit.com , Kopczak said.

Airport officials next will focus on securing nonstop, year-round flights to San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle, Cassotis said. United Airlines offers seasonal service to San Francisco.

"There's lots of work still to do on the West Coast," Cassotis said.

Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis announces the addition of Spirit Airlines as a new carrier at Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017.
Theresa Clift | Tribune-Review
Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis announces the addition of Spirit Airlines as a new carrier at Pittsburgh International Airport on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017.
Latrobe airlines ramp crew members service a Spirit Airlines aircraft  Oct. 2, 2015, at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media
Latrobe airlines ramp crew members service a Spirit Airlines aircraft Oct. 2, 2015, at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.
Spirit Airlines flight 183 to Fort Meyers, Fla., prepares to depart at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity Township on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. The flight experienced a 29-minute delay.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Spirit Airlines flight 183 to Fort Meyers, Fla., prepares to depart at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity Township on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. The flight experienced a 29-minute delay.
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