Residents of the three largest cities in the nation's seventh most populous state will all find nonstop flights to Charleston this summer.
Low-cost carrier Allegiant announced early Tuesday it will add twice-weekly routes between Columbus, Ohio's state capital and its biggest city, starting June 7.
The new flights will run on Friday and Monday between Charleston International and Rickenbacker International Airport. Flight times vary.
Introductory rates as low as $49 each way are being offered. Tickets at the reduced rate must be bought by Wednesday for travel by Aug. 13. Optional baggage fees and other restrictions may apply.
“We’re excited to grow once again in Charleston,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant vice president of planning and revenue. “We’re confident that Columbus-area travelers will be thrilled to take advantage of these convenient, ultra-low-cost flights to enjoy this beautiful, historic destination.”
The route is expected to bring 3,500 additional travelers to the Charleston region this summer.
The Las Vegas-based airline said last month it will launch uninterrupted service between the Holy City and Cleveland on Thursday and Sunday from June 6 to Aug. 11.
Allegiant began serving the Charleston area last April with flights to Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.
Allegiant’s twice-weekly flights to Cincinnati operate Thursday and Sunday.
After a mid-winter hiatus, the Pittsburgh route returns Thursday and the Indianapolis leg relaunches Friday, both in time for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition that kicks off Charleston’s tourist season.
The Pittsburgh flight runs Thursday and Sunday while the Indianapolis service operates on Friday and Monday.
The metro areas of all three Ohio cities combined offer a population of more than 6 million, more than the entire state of South Carolina. Columbus proper is home to about 880,000 people, more than all three counties in the Charleston metro area combined.
“Offering nonstop service to a third city in the Buckeye state further exemplifies Allegiant's commitment to the Charleston region,” airport CEO Paul Campbell said. “The carrier’s unique pricing strategy makes air travel a real option for more people, and it's been well received here.”
Charleston's chief tourism official also lauded the new route.
"New air service is not just a win for our industry," said Helen Hill, CEO of Explore Charleston. "It is also an important benefit for Charleston area locals who can now more affordably and easily connect with friends and family in another part of the country.”
Four other new flights will be added between April and June.
On April 4, British Airways will launch the state’s first transatlantic flight with nonstop service to London.
Delta Air Lines will begin daily flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul in June. And United Airlines will expand its Charleston offerings with daily service to Denver the same month.
Frontier Airlines will add seasonal service to Cleveland with a twice-weekly flight starting in May.
“This is an exciting time for the airport and the Lowcountry,” Campbell said. “We’re expanding our facilities and our lineup of destinations. With the new flights this spring, our business and leisure travelers will have nonstop service available to 32 airports and 27 cities.”