Spirit Airlines announced Wednesday it had helped over 1,300 travelers stuck in other countries during the coronavirus outbreak return to the United States.
Spirit officials said in a statement the airline organized flights to Colombia, Panama, Haiti, Aruba, the Dominican Republic and Honduras to pick up U.S. citizens, residents and family members who have been stuck since flight restrictions went into effect last month.
The low-cost carrier worked with U.S. embassies and local governments to obtain an exemption to the international flight restrictions, which allowed Sprit to serve eight flights that brought travelers home.
“We have been looking for ways to bring our guests home ever since international travel restrictions started being implemented,” Spirit CEO Ted Christie said in a statement. “Our company is made up of Team Members who care deeply about doing whatever we can to help. I sincerely thank our Spirit Family, our airport partners and our government officials for working with us to reunite people around the Americas with their families.”
The airline plans to operate additional flights based on embassy requests. Officials said U.S. citizens stuck outside America who need to return home should contact their country’s embassy in that location.
When travelers fly with Spirit, they will notice middle seats are blocked off to improve social distancing and crew members are following health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As a result of the ongoing viral pandemic, Spirit announced last month it had started cutting routes and reducing service as demand dwindled.
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