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United adds 3 new destinations for service at Myrtle Beach International Airport

25 Mar

United adds 3 new destinations for service at Myrtle Beach International Airport

United Airlines is enhancing its summer schedule from the Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR), which is one of three airports serving South Carolina’s Hammock Coast, with the introduction of seasonal service to three new destinations.

All three routes will begin service on May 27 and are available for booking via the airline’s website. Passengers traveling to Cleveland and St. Louis will enjoy the spacious CRJ-550 aircraft, equipped with 10 first class seats, 20 economy plus seats, 20 standard economy seats, Wi-Fi, more legroom and enough space for every customer to bring a roller bag onboard. Visit www.united.com to learn more and book travel.

United has announced additional service for Myrtle Beach International Airport. New cities added to its roster are Cleveland, Ohio, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo courtesy of United)

The new nonstop flights will serve:

Cleveland (Ohio) Hopkins International Airport with one daily flight on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

St. Louis (Missouri) Lambert International Airport with one daily flight on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Milwaukee Mitchell (Wisconsin) International Airport with daily flights on Saturdays and Sundays.

“United has long been a loyal partner to the Myrtle Beach International Airport, and we’re elated to seethe airline expand its offerings from MYR,” said Director of Airports Scott Van Moppes. “These new markets will provide excellent summer travel opportunities for both tourists and residents … and we thank United for their continued commitment to our destination.”

United’s announcement came the same day Southwest Airlines announced the 11 cities it will serve once it begins service at MYR later this year.

Beginning May 23, Southwest passengers will be able to travel from and to Baltimore, Maryland (BWI), Chicago, Illinois (MDW), and Nashville, Tennessee (BNA); and additional nonstop service from and to Dallas, Texas (DAL) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PIT) will begin May 29. Service from and to five additional cities will launch on June 6, which include Atlanta, Georgia (ATL), Columbus, Ohio (CMH), Indianapolis, Indian (IND), Kansas City, Missouri (MCI) and St. Louis, Missouri (STL). In addition to their nonstop offerings, Myrtle Beach is accessible on Southwest Airlines this summer from 50-plus cities through same-plane and connecting itineraries.

“We are so excited to welcome Southwest Airlines…,” Van Moppes said. “Demand for travel to/from (our airport) is growing at a rapid pace, and we look forward to the opportunity to serve even more customers, thanks to the ample air service opportunities provided through the expansive Southwest network.”

Southwest Airlines will start servicing Myrtle Beach International Airport in 2021. (Photo by Stephen M. Keller, Southwest Airlines Co.)

He added, “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.” 

The South Carolina’s Hammock Coast communities served by MYR include the beach communities of DeBordieu, Pawleys Island, Litchfield Beach, Murrells Inlet, and southern Garden City, as well as the historic areas of Georgetown and Andrews

In 2019, MYR served 2.6 million passengers. During 2020 and the COVID crisis, passenger activity declined at MYR and throughout the United States. However, as a top leisure destination, MYR passenger activity has recovered at a faster rate than the national average.  

“MYR is well-positioned for a quick recovery as a predominantly leisure destination,” said  Lauren Wehrung, air service and business analyst at MYR. “This is a true win/win for our area as we all work to recover this year and grow in years to come.”

Wehrung noted that airlines have responded to the impressive demand for travel to the Hammock Coast and Grand Strand regions by adding new markets, increasing existing capacity or entering the market as a new carrier, just as Southwest has now done. 

She added, “Scheduled seat capacity for summer 2021 has already exceeded that which was scheduled during the same period in 2019, and airport leaders are confident the airport will continue its fast-paced recovery throughout 2021.”

Allegiant is one of nine airlines that provides service to Myrtle Beach International Airport. (Photo by Mark A. Stevens/Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce)

The addition of Southwest Airlines means that MYR will now have nine airlines servicing the Hammock Coast. MYR is currently served by Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Porter, Sun Country, Spirit and United. 

The airport offers direct or nonstop flights to more than 50 locations: Akron-Canton, Ohio; Albany, New York; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Atlanta, Georgia; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Charleston, West Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Clarksburg, West Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Elmira, New York; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Hagerstown, Maryland; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Hartford, Connecticut; Houston, Texas; Huntington, West Virginia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Long Island, New York; Kansas City, Missouri; Knoxville, Tennessee; Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; Louisville, Kentucky; Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota; Nashville, Tennessee; New York, New York; Newark, New Jersey; Newburg/Stewart, New York; Niagra Falls, New York; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Providence, Rhode Island; Saint Louis/Belleville, Illinois; Syracuse, New York; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Trenton, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C. 

Of course, many connecting flights also help visitors and residents in their travel plans. 

Southwest Airlines is one of the major airlines of the United States and the world’s largest low-cost carrier airline. It is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has scheduled service to 111 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries.

Myrtle Beach International Airport recently earned the title of “Best Small Airport” in the 2021 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The annual awards highlight the best of the best in the travel industry and nominees in all categories were chosen editorially by a panel of experts in partnership with 10Best editors, while the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

“The airport team is incredibly proud of this win,” Van Moppes said.  “This title places MYR in the national spotlight, allowing the rest of the country to see why our airport is a favorite among travelers and continually growing in popularity. Our team works diligently to provide the best possible customer experience and being named ‘Best Small Airport’ is proof of that hard work. We are grateful to everyone who took time to vote and we would like to thank our loyal following for its continued patronage and support in this contest.”

Two other airports serve South Carolina’s Hammock Coast: Charleston International Airport, located in North Charleston about 19 miles from the City of Charleston and about 75 miles from South Carolina’s Hammock Coast; and the Georgetown County Airport, located south of Georgetown, on the Hammock Coast, just outside the city limits on U.S. Highway 17, which accommodates small planes and jets. 

For more information about Southwest Airlines, visit: https://www.southwest.com/. The Myrtle Beach International Airport is owned by Horry County and operated by the Department of Airports. Learn more at: www.flymyrtlebeach.com

By Clayton Stairs/tourism manager for the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce 

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