Arnold Palmer Regional Airport will soon expand its Spirit Airlines offerings at the Unity Township facility.

Starting Feb. 12, flights to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, will return two days a week (Mondays and Fridays) and Orlando flights will take to the skies seven days a week. In March, the airline plans to schedule daily flights to Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Myrtle Beach, along with twice-weekly flights to Fort Myers, Florida.

Currently, only Orlando flights arrive at and depart from the airport five days a week — Sunday and Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“This is marvelous news,” Westmoreland County Airport Authority Executive Director Gabe Monzo said. “Like most, we have certainly had our share of trials and tribulations, but we kept our head down and we kept plowing forward and it’s now looking like that effort and attitude is beginning to pay off.”

Tickets may be purchased in person at the airline counter in the terminal from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday or online at www.spirit.com. Arnold Palmer Regional Airport’s three-digit identifier code is LBE. Reservations may not be made by phone by calling the airport. To book by phone, call Spirit Airlines at 855-728-3555.

Monzo said safety at the airport has been paramount since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reached the U.S.

“We did everything we could envision to make sure that people working in the terminal and passengers coming through were protected and as safe as possible,” he said. “This was uncharted territory for all of us, but we got through it and will continue to keep safety at the forefront.”

Despite the pandemic, the airport authority was able to keep several major projects on track — a runway widening, apron strengthening and passenger hold room expansion that added seats for more than 300 passengers at a time. And now the airport stands ready to serve passengers and return flights back to the level the airline was scheduling prior to the pandemic — or greater.

“We saw these projects through to fruition to make this facility ready when people were ready to come back to fly,” Monzo said.

“And now it’s looking like they are.”

“We’re very excited and we appreciate Spirit’s enthusiasm,” he added. “Perhaps our improvements are paying dividends. This should fill the parking lots again.”

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