South Floridians making the trek to North Carolina this fall may not have to endure the roughly 12-hour drive. Now they can fly — for less.
This week, Spirit Airlines announced it would add year-round service to Asheville and Greensboro, North Carolina, beginning in early September from South Florida. The flights are part of 11 new routes Spirit is debuting this fall from Florida to other destinations in the U.S.
The low-cost, Miramar-based airline is adding flights three times weekly from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Asheville. The flights will be offered year-round beginning Sept. 7, and increase to four times weekly on Nov. 8.
The airline is also adding two weekly flights from Tampa to Asheville on Sept. 6, increasing to thrice weekly flights in November. Orlando is getting an Asheville route on Sept. 7, with three flights a week and then four flights a week beginning in November.
To Greensboro, Spirit will fly twice a week from FLL, increasing to three times a week on Nov. 8, as well. Flights from Tampa and Orlando to Greenboro's Piedmont Triad International Airport will run with the same frequency as the Asheville flights: two flights a week from Tampa and three from Orlando until Nov. 8, when Spirit will increase frequency to three and four a week for Tampa and Orlando, respectively.
Floridians are one of the top visitors to North Carolina. Florida ranked fourth for out-of-state visitor traffic to North Carolina in 2017, with 5.3 percent of all travelers, according to the 2017 North Carolina Visitor Profile published by Visit North Carolina.
Last week, the airline also announced a new round of seasonal flights from Florida to other U.S. destinations. From Fort Lauderdale, the airline will add a seasonal Kansas City route four times a week beginning Nov. 9. From West Palm Beach, Spirit will fly to Detroit four times a week starting Dec. 21. From Fort Myers' Southwest Florida International Airport, Spirit will operate a thrice weekly Philadelphia route on Dec. 13. The following day, the airline will begin service between Tampa and Philadelphia four times a week.
A year-round Orlando to Myrtle Beach route will also be added two days a week beginning Nov. 10.