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Updated Aug 23, 2013 - 12:40 pm

Mayor calls Spirit Airlines move ‘no big deal’

MESA, Ariz. — Mesa’s mayor is downplaying a decision by Spirit Airlines to stop serving Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

The airline said it wants to serve primary airports and will offer daily nonstop service between Sky Harbor and Dallas/Fort Worth starting Oct. 24th. Service to Chicago O’Hare and Denver International Airport will begin Nov. 7.

Mayor Scott Smith said losing Spirit Airlines is “no big deal.”

“It’s a bump in the road,” Smith said. “While we value all of our airlines, Spirit was six to eight percent of our traffic is all.”

“Spirit was successful here,” Smith said. “They have a different business plan where they want to move to central city airports.

“Sure we’re disappointed, but it’s not going to impact our long-term plans. We’re still going to aggressively play for growth here. We think it will happen, and what other airlines do is really not that important.”

Smith thinks many Spirit Airlines passengers will switch to Allegiant Airlines and continue to fly in and out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway.

He also believes another airline will replace Spirit at the airport “sometime in the future.”

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