Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) is celebrating the arrival of its new carrier: Spirit Airlines, and the airline brought more exciting news. A seasonal, nonstop route to Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) will start April 20, 2022.
"Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is certainly in the spirit to celebrate today!" said Airport Director Ted Kitchens, A.A.E. "We want to welcome and thank our newest airline partner, Spirit Airlines, for bringing new service from MHT to four popular Florida destinations and for the new service to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. And for all of our passengers flying on Spirit's inaugural flight today — congratulations on being a part of Making History Today!"
Spirit Airlines is the first new airline at MHT in 17 years and marks an exciting new period of expansion for MHT. Myrtle Beach, their newest addition, marks the first time MHT has had a nonstop flight to the state of South Carolina.
"It's a great feeling to be able to bring More Go and announce additional service on Day One," said Lania Rittenhouse, Spirit's vice president of Guest Experience & Brand, and president of the Spirit Charitable Foundation. "It's an absolute pleasure to serve MHT. We see great opportunities and are eager to show our New Hampshire Guests why Spirit is the best value in the sky."
Spirit's nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) from MHT started Oct. 7. In just six weeks, Spirit's nonstop service to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers (RSW) and Tampa International Airport (TPA) will begin on Nov. 17 and 18, respectively.
"Spirit Airlines is bringing New Hampshire residents exactly what they have asked for — more nonstop destinations and affordable prices," said New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. "Because of this exciting partnership, we now have — for the first time ever — a nonstop flight from New Hampshire to South Carolina. A great opportunity for the Granite State!"
"I'm thrilled to celebrate the launch of Spirit Airlines from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport," said Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig. "These new, direct, low-cost flights to Florida and South Carolina will give residents more options as they travel and will allow more visitors the opportunity to visit our beautiful state. This is an exciting time for MHT, and I'm proud to welcome Spirit as an official partner to the Greater Manchester community."
To celebrate, the airport pulled out all the stops and threw a big inaugural flight celebration at Spirit's new gate, Gate 1. As part of the inaugural celebration, the airline provided Free Spirit vouchers to every passenger on the inbound FLL and outbound MCO flights. The vouchers are worth 1,000 points and can be redeemed on future Spirit flights.
Spirit also showed its commitment to New Hampshire and its community by donating $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester through the Spirit Charitable Foundation. Diane Fitzpatrick, CEO; Natalie Jutras, Development Director; and three children from the Boys & Girls Club attended the celebration to accept the check.
"On behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, we are excited to welcome Spirit Airlines to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport," Diane Fitzpatrick said. "We are thankful to the Spirit Charitable Foundation for this generous gift, and we appreciate their commitment to inspiring positive change in our city and our children."
Airport officials, Spirit officials and the passengers on the first outbound flight celebrated at Gate 1 as they waited with anticipation for the first Spirit plane to arrive. While waiting, they enjoyed a celebration of Florida-themed activities, starting at Spirit's ticket counter with colorful floor stickers that led the way to Gate 1. Passengers took photos at a giant flip flop photo station, enjoyed a custom-designed, three-tiered cake from Frederick's Pastries, and received inaugural flight certificates and other giveaway items.
At 4:30 p.m., all eyes turned outside to watch Spirit's first plane touch down. The plane, arriving from Fort Lauderdale, received a "water salute" — a traditional airport welcome for new airlines or routes. Spirit Team Members assisted in the ribbon cutting at Gate 1.
Inbound passengers arriving at MHT enjoyed a New Hampshire fall-themed entrance into the Airport, with fall décor, Starbucks pumpkin spice coffee, apple cider donuts from NH Doughnut Co., and VisitNH giveaway items.
MHT and Spirit first announced the new carrier and flights on June 16, 2021.