Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A new airline lands at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines made its inaugural flight Thursday morning.
As Gigi Barnett reports, the new arrival is a sign that BWI is growing.
The first Spirit Airlines flight leaving BWI Marshall Airport Thursday morning was full. It’s the newest low-cost carrier to hit the terminal.
The airline says it was attracted to BWI because of the airport’s convenient location to popular destinations.
“Baltimore is really in the center of it all,” Mark Kopczak, senior director of Spirit Airlines, said. “There’s really a lot of opportunity and it’s much easier to get to BWI Airport than any other airport in the region.”
“I drove actually from Virginia to come over here,” traveler Amy Palumbo said.
Palumbo says her round-trip ticket price was worth the morning rush-hour drive and that she will do it again.
“If the flights are cheap, I’ll come over here,” she said.
Barnett: That’s the bottom line?”
Palumbo: “That’s the bottom line.”
Spirit’s first day comes just after the airport marked its busiest month ever.
More than two million passengers flew through BWI over the summer and a new airline only adds more customers and jobs.
“It’s really about the economy and jobs because we employ roughly 21,000 people here at BWI and over $2.3 billion of business revenue here,” Paul Wiedefeld, BWI executive director, said. “So adding more service basically keeps puming up those numbers.”
Spirit says another reason why it chose to fly in and out of BWI is with several vacant terminals here, there’s room to grow.
“You can see this facility. They’re doing the construction to really get this airport ready to get to its next phase of growth and happy to be apart of that,” Kopczak said.
With one more low-cost carrier for passengers to choose, the airport says it is expecting to see a boost in its holiday travel this year.
Spirit makes non-stop flights to Fort Lauderdale and Dallas/Ft. Worth for now. The company says it may add more flights in the future.