Spirit Airlines set to expand routes as it moves terminals at MSP


The choice of budget flight destinations is set to get bigger as Spirit Airlines prepares to move to a new terminal at Minneapolis-St. Paul International.

From January 27, the no-frills airline will wave goodbye to Terminal 2/Humphrey, its home since its started operating from the Twin Cities in 2012, as it begins services from Terminal 1/Lindbergh.

The Pioneer Press reports the move to the bigger terminal will give Spirit two gates at the airport, compared to the existing one, and a Spirit spokesman said an expansion of its routes is likely.

"We certainly like Minneapolis' market," Spirit spokesman Paul Berry told the newspaper. "And we plan to grow as an airline 30 percent next year, and that will mean more routes to more places."

The budget airline started out with only 4 destinations from the Twin Cities in 2012, but this has since grown to 13, some of which are seasonal, which includes flights to New Orleans, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando and Tampa.

Not only will the move to Lindbergh offer greater opportunities for Spirit, the gap it is leaving at Humphrey will free up space for the expansion of other low-cost carriers like Sun Country and Southwest.

Spirit have not revealed any specific expansion plans as of yet, but MSP spokesman Brian Peters told KSTP the airport is planning for Spirit's growing presence.

"Right now, they're on track for over a million total passengers in 2014," he said. "By moving over to Terminal 1, we expect that will only increase as they have more room for future growth."

Terminal 1 is by far the bigger of the two terminals at MSP, with 114 gates compared to just 10 at Terminal 2, according to the MSP Airport website.

In 2013, just over 14 million passengers departed from Terminal 1, compared to just over 2 million at Terminal 2.

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