Spirit Airlines delaying start of service in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Spirit Airlines is delaying its start of service in Rochester by four months.

It’s part of the budget airline’s plan to reduce overall flying by 5% to 6% this summer.

When Spirit announced it was coming to the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport back in February, it planned on starting service in June. The airline did say travelers whose plans have been impacted by the change will be refunded and can expect a follow-up message from the airline next week.

Now, a spokesperson for the airline says service out of ROC will start on Oct. 6, and released the following statement:

"While disappointed, we understand this is part of their overall plan to improve operational reliability for Spirit passengers. We look forward to welcoming Spirit and their low fares to Rochester this fall. ROC passengers can continue to look forward to new nonstop service on Frontier Airlines to Denver International Airport starting May 27 and Chicago Midway International Airport on Southwest Airlines starting June 6, just in time for western summer travel.”

Spirit sent News10NBC an additional statement after this article was published saying:

“Spirit is joining several other airlines in proactively adjusting our summer schedule to provide additional flexibility during the busy travel season and ensure we provide the travel experience our Guests have come to expect from us. We’re extremely thankful the welcome in Rochester, and we remain committed to the Rochester market. Our new start date of our ROC operation is now Oct 6, 2022. We extend our apologies to Guests with impacted travel plans and will be issuing refunds. We will send our Guests a follow-up message with more information next week.”

Other destinations that the airline originally announced include Orlando and Myrtle Beach.

Earlier this month, CEO of Frontier Airlines Barry Biffle announced he was still working to save a proposed merger with Spirit Airlines that would create the nation’s fifth-biggest carrier by some measures. JetBlue also made a $3.6 billion bid for Spirit last month. Both Frontier and JetBlue currently service Rochester.