MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Travelers now have a new option for flying as Myrtle Beach International Airport welcomed the inaugural Southwest Airlines flight Sunday.
Leaders from across South Carolina joined airport staff to welcome the airline. The flight flew into Myrtle Beach International from Baltimore-Washington International and received a water cannon salute as it taxied from the runway.
“We knew that this place was going to be blooming this summer and so we want to get here as soon as we could,” said Adam Decaire, vice president and event planning at Southwest Airlines.
The ceremony began with remarks from the city, the county, and state elected officials as well as leaders from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. Passengers were also celebrated as they got off the plane.
Officials said with the addition of Southwest Airlines, passengers at Myrtle Beach International Airport will now have nine airlines to choose from for their travels.
“It has a lot of everything. It just appeals to so many people and different opportunities whether it’s the beach or it’s golf, there are lots of things to do,” Decaire said. “I can’t even name all the exciting things.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony was also held.
“It was really about trying to get our employees and giving them opportunities for jobs and keeping them flying,” Decaire said. “Give us the opportunity to bring in the revenue for that and so it really started with supporting our employees and jobs.”
“We are so excited to welcome Southwest to the Grand Strand, Director of Airports Scott Van Moppes said in a press release Sunday. “The airline has long been requested by both the airport team and our travelers and we are celebrating a huge win for our community [Sunday].”
Southwest has non-stop flights from Myrtle Beach to Baltimore, Chicago (Midway) and Nashville. Beginning Wednesday, the airline will also add non-stop flights to Dallas Love Field and Pittsburgh. On June 6, they’ll add non-stop flights to Atlanta, Columbus, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and St. Louis.