Charleston residents will soon be able to fly nonstop to Minneapolis at the introductory roundtrip cost of about $100.
Denver-based Frontier Airlines will launch flights to the Twin Cities area on Wednesday and Saturday starting Aug. 15 until at least Nov. 14, according to the company's website.
The introductory fare on each leg of the roughly three-hour flight is $39 on Wednesday and $49 on Saturday, based on the online flight schedule. Flights at the discount rates must be booked by 11:59 p.m. June 8. The price does not include baggage fees and early bookings were expected to eat up most of the cut-rate flights.
"We'll call it our little gift to the community," said Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and a board member of Charleston County Aviation Authority.
She also said the new service "is perfectly aligned with the hospitality industry’s goal to add new nonstop cities from markets whose people will appreciate the authentic experience that the Charleston area can offer."
"We strongly believe that additional air service from cities like Minneapolis is a natural win for our industry but equally important for Charleston area friends looking for an affordable way to visit friends and relatives in the Land of 10,000 Lakes," Hill said.
Frontier began serving the Charleston area in February with three nonstop flights per week to Denver and Philadelphia.
In April, it tacked on similar service three times a week on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday to Trenton, N.J., which is near Philadelphia. That same month, the airline added twice-weekly flights to the Texas high-tech mecca of Austin on Tuesday and Friday.
Last month, Frontier began nonstop routes on Monday and Friday to Chicago 0'Hare International.
“Frontier Airlines continues to deliver on its promise from our earliest conversations almost two years ago," airport CEO Paul Campbell said.
Frontier uses France-based Airbus jets. Those flying out of Charleston to Minneapolis will be single-aisle A319 models that seat 160 passengers.
Frontier's announcement means "a very special year is shaping up" at Charleston International, Campbell said.
Two new airlines, including Frontier, added several new nonstop destinations to the airport's lineup this year. The other new carrier is Las Vegas-based Allegiant.
The new routes, along with expanded service from other airlines, are expected to boost the number of passengers coming and going at Charleston International to a record 4.4 million this year, more than doubling volume over eight years.
In 2017, the airport accommodated 3.9 million travelers.