More airlines flying to more destinations sent Charleston International Airport's passenger levels soaring in May.
About 435,100 travelers flew in and out of the state's busiest terminal during the 31-day period, the most so far this year for any month. That's up almost 14 percent from May 2017.
“The summer travel season kicked off in May in a big way,” said Paul Campbell, executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, which oversees the airport.
“We’re thankful for continued growth at the airport," he said. "It allows us to provide great destinations and exceptional service to our customers, and it is vital to our support of and role in the economic prosperity of the Lowcountry region and the state.”
Nearly 1.7 million people have landed and departed at Charleston International, an increase of 8.2 percent over the first five months of last year.
New air service has helped fuel the airport’s growth.
Earlier this year, low-cost carriers Allegiant and Frontier Airlines launched operations in the Lowcountry. Since then, Frontier has added new destinations.
Frontier now flies nonstop to Austin, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia and Trenton. On Aug. 15 its nonstop flights to Minneapolis-St. Paul will begin. Allegiant flies nonstop to Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh.
Along with additional routes and destinations from Delta, American, United, Southwest, JetBlue and Alaska, eight airlines now offer nonstop service from Charleston to 30 airports in 25 cities in the U.S.
Last year, Charleston International ferried 3.98 million ticket holders through its terminal. That number is estimated to climb to 4.4 million this year.