More than 1,300 people who were struggling to return to the United States from Colombia, Panama, Haiti, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras are finally coming home, Spirit Airlines announced Wednesday. Over the past 13 days, the airline has organized flights to all six countries to pick up U.S. citizens, residents and family members who have been in limbo since flight restrictions went into effect in mid-March.
The announcement comes after weeks of careful coordination with U.S. embassies and local governments to obtain an exemption to those restrictions on international flights. Based in South Florida, Spirit is proud serve its Guests as a gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean, and the airline has already flown a total of eight flights bringing people back to the United States. The airline plans to operate additional flights based on embassy requests.
“We have been looking for ways to bring our Guests home ever since international travel restrictions started being implemented,” said Ted Christie, President and CEO at Spirit Airlines. “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.”
Guests make these trips on board one of Spirit’s signature bright yellow planes with every middle seat blocked off to improve social distancing. As these humanitarian flights continue, Spirit will be following health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) while remaining in close contact with authorities to ensure the safety of its Guests and Team Members.
Spirit’s repatriation efforts have been made possible by U.S. embassies in Colombia, Panama, Haiti, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras. Guests needing to return home from an international destination should contact their country’s embassy in that location.