Spirit Airlines to Debut Flights from MSP Airport in May

After several days of speculation as to which new airline would begin serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, it has been revealed that Spirit Airlines will begin operating flights from MSP on May 31.

The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) said earlier this week that a new airline would join the list of carriers flying out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)-but was tight-lipped about which airline was coming.

On Wednesday, Spirit Airlines officially revealed itself as the newest addition to MSP.

It was widely suspected that Florida-based Spirit or New York-based JetBlue Airways-both discount airlines that have recently been expanding-would be the new airline.

The MAC and Spirit said Wednesday that, beginning May 31, Spirit will begin three daily non-stop flights between MSP and Chicago, and daily non-stop service between MSP and Las Vegas.

The discount airline is offering rock-bottom $28.79 fares from Minneapolis to Las Vegas and Chicago (each way, based on round-trip purchase) available today and tomorrow.

Spirit is known for an a-la-carte approach to air fares, with low base ticket prices but added fees for services, including a $20 fee for carry-on bags, according to the company's website.

“I am very pleased to welcome Spirit Airlines to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and wish the airline every success here,” MAC Chairman Dan Boivin said in a statement. “Competition among airlines is good for consumers, and Spirit's unique low-fare business model provides a valuable alternative for cost-conscious travelers. It is a goal of the MAC to expand choices for the consumer with more options to more destinations while maintaining our commitment to sound environmental stewardship.”

MAC Executive Director Jeff Hamiel said in a statement that Spirit is the fourth new carrier to begin serving MSP since 2008 and highlights the strength of the Minneapolis-St. Paul market for business and leisure travel.

Spirit also offers flights to Denver, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., among other destinations, and Boivin recently told the Star Tribune that the new airline joining MSP would begin with two domestic destinations but may add more routes down the road.

According to a report by WCCO, the new airline will be flying out of Terminal 2 (formerly the Humphrey Terminal), which is currently dominated by locally based Sun Country Airlines.