NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — This is a different Spirit of Norfolk.
Spirit Airlines and Norfolk International Airport announced Tuesday morning that the budget airline will start service at ORF on March 8, 2023.
Spirit will offer nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, and connection options to places such as the Caribbean and Latin America. That’s good news for Spirit customers who had to travel to Richmond in order to get nonstop flights to the two Florida locations.
“Spirit has launched with Orlando and Fort Lauderdale as nonstops because we know there’s demand in the Norfolk area for travel to those destinations, but beyond that, you’ll be able to fly to a variety of other destinations through a connection and we are excited to bring that service to Norfolk,” said Spirit Airlines Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Bobby Schroeter.
Schroeter is from Virginia and says many friends have been asking when Spirit would come to Hampton Roads. Schroeter says they’ve been in talks with the airport for 14 years!
Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander says this will also bring a big economic boost to the area.
“17,000 jobs, with a payroll of $775 million dollars, provides three million in annual revenue to the city and this airport has a total economic output of $2.2 billion dollars,” said Mayor Alexander.
Norfolk International Airport says this year is on track to be their biggest year for air travel in the airport’s 84-year history. Schroeter says these two locations are not only great destinations to travel to, but they open a lot of opportunities for connecting flights too.
“Spirit’s mission is to deliver the best value in the sky and that starts with our ultra-low fares and our commitment to investing in the guest with friendly service, new cabin interiors and fast WIFI,” said Schroeter. “Our affordable flights help people do more and afford more in the destinations that they’re visiting.”
Spirit will be the only airline in Norfolk to offer daily nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale.
Earlier this year JetBlue bought Spirit for $3.8 billion, but the merger has yet to be officially approved.
Spirit joins Breeze Airways in being a newer lower-cost option for travelers at ORF. Breeze came to Norfolk last year, with nonstop flights to several cities. Allegiant has also offered budget option nonstop flights to Florida for several years now.
Newport News-Williamsburg Airport also announced nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando through Avelo Airlines back in July. Those flights start this month.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Spirit was the only airline offering nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale. It will be the only airline at ORF to offer daily nonstop flights to that airport.