PLATTSBURGH - There's a new airline service coming to Plattsburgh International Airport.
Spirit Airlines was announced as the newest service for the airport during a press conference Oct. 28. Spirit Airlines will begin nonstop service from Plattsburgh to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beginning Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. Nonstop service to Myrtle Beach, S.C., is expected to begin Sunday, May 15.
Garry F. Douglas, president of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce, said Spirit Airlines was attracted to the growing number of people flying in and out of Plattsburgh International, which is expected to reach 85,000 to 90,000 people this year. Approximately 85 percent of those flying from Plattsburgh are from Canada.
"Those are the numbers that are bringing us the services we have and the services we will have in the future," said Douglas.
Clinton County Legislator Robert J. Heins, chairman of the Clinton County Legislature's airport committee, said given the airport was redeveloped from former U.S. Air Force properties nearly three years ago, the transformation in such a short time has been impressive.
"That's truly an amazing scenario in just three years," said Heins. "We're spiraling upward. It's truly exciting."
The decision to bring air service to Plattsburgh was one that has been in the works for the past two years, said Bobby Schroeter, senior director of consumer market for Spirit Airlines. Schroeter confirmed it was the high demand for vacation destinations like the Dominican Republic, Cancun, and Jamaica - which Plattsburgh's Spirit Airlines flights will connect to - that demonstrated the need here, he said.
"We looked at a lot of different things, but everybody here has been clamoring for the Caribbean and low fares. It made sense for us," said Schroeter. "We're really excited to get [service] going here ... and get some low-cost fares to everybody in the area. I know there's going to be a lot of demand for this."
"This finally puts the 'International' in Plattsburgh International Airport," said Douglas. "And, it's still just the beginning of the possibilities that will unfold here at Plattsburgh International Airport."
Spirit Airlines service will begin with four nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale in January and increase with four more nonstop flights to Myrtle Beach in May. Information about Spirit Airlines may be found on-line at www.spiritair.com or www.flyplattsburgh.com.