MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Wednesday, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) announced that it is welcoming flights from Spirit Airlines.
After years of negotiations, Spirit Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President Matt Klein joined with MHT Director Ted Kitchens and other dignitaries in the lower concourse of the airport to share the announcement, making Manchester the 11th new city Spirit has added to its network this year.
There were several reasons discussed by Klein as reasons for Spirit choosing Manchester. First, he believes that both Florida and New Hampshire’s reputations as outdoor tourist destinations provide opportunity for pent-up tourism demand as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes. Klein also noted the affordability for commercial carriers at MHT compared to other airports in the region that would allow Spirit to keep its cost-friendly approach with its customers.
Klein said that Manchester was not high up Spirit’s long-term plans prior to the pandemic, but those reasons, coupled with other data, clinched the decision to come to MHT.
“The community here in big ways, loves to travel. It was an easy decision coming to Manchester,” said Klein.”
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and surrogates for New Hampshire’s Congressional Delegation also provided celebratory remarks for the occasion. Sununu joked with the audience about when Kitchens contacted his office after learning the news but couldn’t immediately tell him the details.
Although Sununu needed to wait before hearing the news, he was still thrilled to hear it, also thanking Kitchens and his staff and the people of New Hampshire for wooing Spirit to the Granite State.
“We are a destination,” said Sununu of New Hampshire. “To have Spirit here in a partnership with not just the airport, but as I consider it, the entire state. Yes, these guys have a lot of different suitors all over the country but they said, ‘we want to be part of Manchester, we want to be part of New Hampshire, we want to be part of that destination. We see where the economy is going and we want to be a part of it.’”
On October 7, Spirit will offer non-stop flights from Manchester to Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, followed by non-stop flights to Tampa and Ft. Myers beginning in November. The Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando flights will be available daily, with four flights a week to Ft. Myers and three to Tampa.
Craig estimated that the new flights will bring approximately $25 million dollars in additional economic impact to the city and approximately $30 million to the greater Manchester area.
“We are thrilled to welcome Spirit Airlines to Manchester this fall,” said Craig. “As a leading low-cost carrier, Spirit’s investment in our community will open new destinations for Granite Staters and allow more travelers to experience all Manchester and New Hampshire has to offer.”