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Spirit Airlines to add flights to Florida from Palmer airport

| Saturday, June 7, 2014, 7:21 p.m.

Spirit Airlines will begin seasonal service from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity to two additional Florida cities in December.

While thousands of people packed the airport for the Westmoreland County Air Show this weekend, officials with the airline took to the public address system to announce seasonal flights beginning Dec. 18 to Fort Myers and Tampa.

One flight to Fort Myers is planned for three days per week, and one flight to Tampa is slated for four days per week, according to a news release.

The airport has received plenty of requests for flights to Fort Myers, said Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority, which runs the airport.

“We're happy to have the service, and we're willing to give it a go and see how it works out,” Monzo said.

The airline has 19 flights per week at the Unity airport with 19,901 passengers traveling through the terminal in April.

About 81,000 passengers were recorded through April this year with a total of 535,200 since Spirit Airlines started commercial service to the airport in 2011.

“We're always looking for new routes and new ways for our customers to save money on travel,” said Paul Berry, spokesman for Spirit.

In April, the airline discontinued flights to Dallas-Fort Worth after eight months, but Monzo said he is optimistic about the Florida trips.

No new resources will be necessary to accommodate the new flights just yet, since Spirit's seasonal trips to Myrtle Beach, S.C., will end in November, he said.

“We think it's a good fit, and we're happy they think so too,” Monzo said.

The airport has year-round service through Spirit to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

“We're glad to make them available to the people of Western Pennsylvania,” Berry said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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