Spirit Airlines to change airports in Phoenix area - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Spirit Airlines to change airports in Phoenix area

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PHOENIX -

Spirit Airlines is moving its Arizona service to Sky Harbor International Airport in central Phoenix from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa.

The Miramar Fla.-based carrier said Tuesday it will cease operations at Gateway on Oct. 23 and begin service between Sky Harbor and Dallas-Fort Worth on Oct. 24.

"Phoenix is open for business," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. "Our economy continues to grow with more visitors and clients traveling to our city and investing in our region. America's Friendliest Airport serves as a hub of economic growth for Phoenix and we welcome expanded flight options at Sky Harbor."

Spirit said it will start service between Sky Harbor and both Chicago O'Hare and Denver on Nov. 7.  On the airline's web site, advertised one-way fares start at $38.89.

Spirit will move into the north concourse in terminal 3 of Sky Harbor.

Spirit Airlines just arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway airport in February of last year to much fanfare and high hopes. It had flights to Las Vegas, Chicago, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

"The timing could have been better, we're obviously disappointed in losing anything here but that's life. The airline industry is an interesting industry," said Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.

Still, Mayor Smith says it's not that big of a blow. The airline only accounted for 10 percent of Mesa Gateway's business.

"Spirit was a small part of the operations here and they were a very small part of the 5 million passengers. Although we would have loved for them to stay here we want them to be successful," said Smith.

Customers in the east valley will miss the convenience. Tuesday, Gateway Airport celebrated its 5 millionth passenger.

So why the move? A Spirit planning exec says the airline is moving because Sky Harbor fits their growth strategy of serving big cities at an affordable price.

Sky Harbor is among the top 10 busiest airports in the country, with over 1,200 daily non-stop flights.

Online: www.spirit.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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