The runways at South Carolina's busiest airport will see even more traffic next year.
Not only is British Airways taking off with the region's first transatlantic flight in April, but Delta Air Lines will launch nonstop daily service between Charleston International and Minneapolis in June.
"The local market has matured to the point that it requires a daily route," said Gary Edwards, a liaison between Charleston County Aviation Authority and regional tourism agency Explore Charleston. "It's just a natural evolution of the service in Charleston."
He also pointed out the Minnesota Twin City is a hub for Delta and will serve not only as a destination for Charleston business and leisure travelers but a connection point for other destinations, including international sites.
Passengers will travel on a 76-seat, single-aisle Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft with first-class and coach accommodations. The roughly three-hour flights begin June 20 from Minneapolis. The departing Charleston flight starts the next day.
Ticket sales start Saturday.
“These flights will open up dozens of Midwest, West destinations for customers through a single, easy connection at MSP,” said Joe Esposito, Delta’s senior vice president of network planning.
Denver-based Frontier Airlines currently offers twice-weekly nonstop service between Charleston and Minneapolis. That seasonal service started in August and runs through early November.
Delta is Charleston's oldest carrier and its largest by passenger volume, currently offering 20 daily flights to five airports in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit and New York.
The airline established its Minneapolis-St Paul flight hub through its 2008 acquisition of Northwest Airlines, which was headquartered in the Twin Cities.
Atlanta-based Delta said it operates more than 400 daily departures from the Minnesota airport, including nonstop service to major West Coast cities and to Asia.