Charleston International Airport security checkpoint (copy)

Passengers wait to go through the security checkpoint at Charleston International Airport. File/Provided/Charleston County Aviation Authority

With bigger airplanes carrying more passengers to more destinations, Charleston International's passenger count soared by nearly 227,000 during the first six months of the year over the same period last year.

During the first half of the year, the terminal saw 2.35 million passengers coming and going, up from 2.1 million for January through June in 2018. That's about 11 percent higher at the mid-year point.

In June, the state's busiest airport ferried 4.3 percent more passengers through its terminal over the same month last year.

More than 465,000 ticket holders passed in and out of the airport last month, up nearly 20,000 over June 2018.

Airport CEO Paul Campbell attributed the airport's climbing passenger count to the popularity of Charleston as a tourist destination and continued growth in the business sector.

"We also picked up a few more flights than last year," he said.

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British Airways launched twice weekly flights to London in April and other carriers have added routes to new destinations such as Minneapolis, and Cleveland and Columbus in Ohio.

Charleston airport officials are projecting close to 5 million passengers for 2019, up from a record 4.47 million last year.

"We expect to exceed 4.8 million passengers this year," Campbell said. "The second half of the year is usually busier than the first half."

Long-range projections call for passenger volume to reach 8 million by 2028, compared to about 2 million in 2010.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.

Warren Lance Wise covers retail, real estate and Charleston International Airport for The Post and Courier. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he holds nearly 50 local, state and national awards for journalistic excellence.