Despite Spirit departure, Mesa's Gateway Airport celebrates 5M passengers - East Valley Tribune: Business

Gateway Growth Despite Spirit departure, Mesa's Gateway Airport celebrates 5M passengers

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Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:46 pm | Updated: 10:52 pm, Wed Jul 31, 2013.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport celebrated the arrival of its 5 millionth passenger Tuesday — the same day Spirit Airlines announced it will move its Arizona passenger service from the burdgeoning suburban East Valley site to Central Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport.

The Miramar Fla.-based carrier said Tuesday it will cease operations at Gateway on Oct. 23 and begin service between Sky Harbor and Dallas-Fort Worth on Oct. 24.

Allegiant Air will remain as Gateway’s sole commercial air tenant after the airport began the year with three commercial options.

Colorado-based Frontier Airlines discontinued flights from the East Valley site earlier this year.

The loss of Spirit and Frontier are relative, airport officials have noted, as Allegiant has long accounted for the heavy majority of the Airport’s traffic.

“We’re very disappointed that Spirit is leaving,” Jane Morris, the airport’s executive director, said Tuesday. “Gateway Airport is positioned to have airlines come and go.”

Morris said with just one flight per day from Mesa to Dallas, Spirit accounts for 8 percent of Gateway’s traffic.

Spirit said it will start service between Sky Harbor and both Chicago O’Hare and Denver on Nov. 7.

Spirit will move into the north concourse in terminal three of Sky Harbor.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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