Ruta Smith file photo

Spirit Airlines today announced it will operate daily nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale, Newark and Philadelphia from Charleston International Airport starting April 5.

“We’re excited to connect the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina, with three of the biggest metro areas on the East Coast,” said John Kirby, vice president of network planning at Spirit Airlines. “Spirit’s affordable fares and convenient, nonstop flights allow Guests to travel more often to visit friends and loved ones, and explore Charleston’s attractions, coastline and world-class restaurants.”

Introductory fares will start at $39 and $49 one-way. Travelers will also gain access to dozens of international flight opportunities through the connection to Fort Lauderdale, the airline said. Fort Lauderdale is home to Spirit’s largest operation and offers easy access to flights going to Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Airport officials said the airline’s low fares and affordable flights provide more options for travelers to take a vacation in Charleston — or for locals to visit friends and family in three major cities.

“The new partnership with Spirit is a major achievement for our community and further illustrates the strength and desirability of the Charleston region,” said Helen Hill, CEO of Explore Charleston and chair of the Charleston County Aviation Authority. “The Northeast and Florida have consistently been top areas of origin for visitors to the Lowcountry. Additional daily options for Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale and New York area residents to conveniently enjoy our region’s unparalleled attributes increase our travel industry’s competitiveness and economic impact. 

“Simultaneously, an additional carrier and new nonstop flights are important benefits for Charleston area locals who can now more affordably and easily connect with friends and family in these markets.”

Thirteen airlines now fly in and out of Charleston International Airport, airport officials said.

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