Six new flights over the next month at Charleston International will usher in the summer travel season, adding to the surge of travelers flying in and out of the state's busiest airport.
Some, such as a new nonstop route to Minneapolis-St. Paul, will become daily year-round service, while others, such as the new flight to Columbus, Ohio, will be seasonal.
Together, they will bring the number of flights leaving and landing in the Lowcountry to about 200 on most days of the week. Most are daily while others operate a few days a week.
- On Thursday, JetBlue Airways leads the fleet of new departures and arrivals by launching a third flight to Boston each day except Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Allegiant becomes the second airline to serve Cleveland, with seasonal service on Thursday and Sunday, starting June 6. Frontier began serving the city on the shores of Lake Erie on May 2.
- On June 7, Allegiant will add the Ohio capital city of Columbus to its schedule with seasonal routes on Friday and Monday. The new flight will boost the airline's nonstop service from Charleston to all three of Ohio's biggest cities, including Cincinnati.
- That same day, United launches a new daily route to Denver, becoming the third airline to serve the Mile High City along with Southwest and Frontier.
- On June 11, Alaska Airlines will boost its frequency between Charleston and its home base of Seattle to six days a week. The carrier offers the Lowcountry's only nonstop, cross-country flights.
- And on June 29, Delta Air Lines, which maintains the largest passenger volume at Charleston International, will add a daily nonstop route to the Twin Cities in Minnesota.
The added flights and new destinations reflect the growing Charleston region's continued attraction for tourists and business travelers alike, said Gary Edwards, a liaison between the Lowcountry's tourism agency, Explore Charleston, and the airport.
"Five years ago, no airlines served Denver from Charleston," Edwards said. "Now we have three. Six or seven years ago, no carriers flew to Boston from Charleston. Now we have two. That's healthy for people who live here to have choices."
Charleston’s airport is currently served by nine airlines flying nonstop to 31 airports and 27 cities, including British Airways, which launched the first transatlantic flight between Charleston and London in early April.
Last year, nearly 4.5 million people flew in and out of the Lowcountry. That number is projected to climb to about 4.8 million or so this year, according to airport CEO Paul Campbell.