MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach International Airport’s largest air carrier announced Wednesday it’s increasing its service on the Grand Strand amid heavy travel demand.
Spirit Airlines said it will offer nearly 200 flights each week with nonstop service to 19 places during its summer season.
“We’re going to be the largest we’ve ever been in Myrtle Beach,” Spirit Airlines President and CEO Ted Christie said. “That’s 40% more than what we did two years ago.”
The airline also celebrated 25 years of service at MYR. Other airlines have recently announced new services to Myrtle Beach.
“About 90% the people who come to visit drive and 10% fly,” Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Riordan said. “But again those numbers are continuing to shift because more and more people now have affordable airfare as an option.”
More air service not only expands Myrtle Beach’s reach for vacationers; it’s critical as the area sees growth.
“The most recent thing especially with the pandemic is working from home,” city council member John Krajc said. “If you have a New York City job, a Chicago job, a Pennsylvania job, you can do it in Myrtle Beach now. Live where you want to but work back home.”
The announcement came during growing travel numbers. June 2021 has over 50 percent more scheduled arriving flights than June 2019 at MYR.
Meanwhile, airport leaders are looking at plans that could add four or five gates in a 22 million dollar terminal expansion.
“We’re in the very, very early stages right now- it’s essentially just looking at some different architects or selecting an architect or engineer that could work on this,” Director of General Aviation & Properties at MYR Ryan Betcher said. “So it’s still quite a ways out. And ultimately everything we do is going to be based on demand.”