MYRTLE BEACH — With the goal of transporting vacationers to the Grand Strand with daily year-round service, Southwest Airlines intends to expand its services to Myrtle Beach International in the coming months.
The area joined Eugene, Ore., and Bellingham, Wash., as three new destinations announced by Southwest on March 8.
The Dallas-based carrier has been aggressive in opening new routes throughout the pandemic, with 17 new airports reached since the beginning of 2020, including Savannah on March 11.
It was 10 years ago this week that Southwest launched its first South Carolina flights from Charleston International. Service from Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport followed in April 2011.
In expanding to Myrtle Beach, the target demographic for the airline will be to attract travelers who normally drive to the area, while also touting its “golf bags fly free” program. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly did not provide specifics about destinations or when service will begin in a written statement to employees.
The airport and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said they worked in tandem to bring Southwest to the area.
“We know the past year has been very challenging for the aviation industry and we appreciate the confidence Southwest has shown in the strength of our destination,” said Scott Van Moppes, director of airports.
Myrtle Beach International is currently served by Allegiant, American, Delta, Porter, Sun Country, Spirit, United and Frontier, with the latter returning to MYR on March 9 with nonstop service to Philadelphia International.