Southwest Airlines announces Charleston routes

Charleston Regional Business Journal
Daniel Brock
October 20, 2010

Chicago, Baltimore/Washington, Nashville, Tenn., and Houston.

Those are the four destinations to which Southwest Airlines will fly nonstop each day from Charleston International Airport, the company announced during a visit today.

“Southwest is the Super Bowl of this industry, and Charleston won the Super Bowl today,” said Sue Stevens, airports director for the Charleston Aviation Authority.

The discount airline made a simultaneous announcement in the Upstate but added Orlando, Fla., to the mix of destination cities for Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

The company will be flying Boeing 737s, which hold 137 passengers, out of Charleston. Southwest also will add about 40 employees at the airport.

Bob Montgomery, vice president of properties for Southwest Airlines Co., said previous traffic patterns helped the airline decide how it wanted to launch in Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg.

“It’s all based on research, and we found that more people are coming from these places than others,” Montgomery said.

The destinations are not set in stone, however. Southwest could change routes and likely will expand service. When asked, company representatives said there are no direct flights between Greenville and Charleston because the goal, at least initially, was to connect the S.C. markets with existing networks, not with each other.

Southwest will begin seven nonstop daily flights to and from Charleston on March 13 to the four destinations. And to celebrate the addition of Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg to the company’s network, Southwest is offering a two-day fare sale.

Customers can find one-way fares for as low as $30 to any nonstop market servicing Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg for travel through April 6 if they book by the end of the day Thursday — Pacific Daylight Time — on the Southwest Airlines website.

“Southwest Airlines is delighted to bring our special brand of low-fare, high-quality customer service to travelers in Greenville-Spartanburg and Charleston,” said Dave Ridley, Southwest Airlines’ senior vice president of marketing and revenue management.

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