Spirit Airlines, an ultra-low-cost airline, will soon operate routes to Florida from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and officials from the Connecticut Airport Authority on Wednesday announced nonstop service to several destinations beginning this spring, including Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“Bradley International Airport is a major economic driver for Connecticut, and it continues to be a player in our efforts to grow our economy, boost tourism, and improve our transportation system. The addition of Spirit Airlines gives residents and businesses in our region another option in a growing, diversified selection of airlines that are servicing our region’s largest airport, and we welcome them to our state. We created the Connecticut Airport Authority with the intention of not only having it focus on efforts to add new routes and new airlines to our state, but to also focus on how our state’s airports can be utilized as a tool to increase our economic viability. The recent growth at Bradley is showing that the authority is having an impact," Malloy said in a statement on Wednesday.
Spirit Airlines bills itself as the first to give customers a choice to pay only for the extras they want. Bradley currently is not served by an ultra-low-cost carrier.
“We are thrilled to name Hartford as the 60th city to join our growing network. Spirit’s super low Bare Fares™ with Frill Control™ provide a new option to customers in Connecticut and western Massachusetts. As the first U.S. airline to give customers the choice to pay for only the extras they want, we know Spirit’s arrival in Hartford will free the region from high airfares and give many more travelers the ability to spend those savings on vacation," Mark Kopczak, Vice President of Network Planning for Spirit Airlines, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Spirit brands itself as a la carte pricing. Travelers start with a seat ans go from there. Everything else is extra, with seat assignments, overhead and checked baggage, as well as beverages and food.
"This is a huge market area. The economy of the state is in good condition as it relates to air travel, so certainly there's a lot of attraction for the airlines to come here," said Kevin Dillon, of Connecticut Airport Authority.
The Connecticut Airport Authority has been aggressively seeking more carriers. It has shelled out hundreds in economic incentives to bring more business to Bradley.
Spirit's first flights will begin April 27 with a daily, year-round route to Orlando and four-days-per-week, seasonal service to Myrtle Beach. Daily, year-round service to Fort Lauderdale will begin June 15.
CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon says customers have requested service to Myrtle Beach.
This is the second new airline within a year. Air Lingus started flights to Ireland from Bradley last fall.
Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.