Southwest announces details of new South Carolina routes

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport welcomes Southwest

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport welcomes Southwest: Sam Konduros, local aviation/GSP airport supporter; Minor Shaw, vice chair GSP Airport Commission; Dave Edwards, the airport's Executive Director; and Hal Johnson, local aviation/GSP airport supporter, celebrated on the day of the big announcement. Five Southwest hubs will be connected with the South Carolina airport next March.

Despite carrying more US domestic passengers than any other airline, Southwest only operates from 69 airports. Earlier this year, it announced that it would add not one but two new airports, both in South Carolina, from spring 2011. Now it has released details of the destinations it will serve from Charleston (CHS) and Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP), and the frequency of service. Flights will begin on 13 March 2011 with both airports having seven daily flights. The number of weekly departures on each route is summarised below.

Destination Charleston (CHS) Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP)
Baltimore/Washington (BWI) 21 14
Chicago Midway (MDW) 14 14
Nashville (BNA) 7 7
Orlando (MCO) 7
Houston Hobby (HOU) 7 7
Source: Southwest

According to US DOT Office of Aviation Analysis data for the first quarter of 2010, Charleston ranked as the 10th most expensive airport for domestic passengers in the US (out of 121 analysed) with an average fare premium of 19%. Greenville/Spartanburg ranked as the 22nd most expensive with an average fare premium of 9%.

Both airports are well-served by the major legacy carriers, which mostly operate regional jets into their main east coast hubs. Destinations and weekly departures are summarised in the table below.

Destination Charleston (CHS) Greenville/Spartanburg (GSP)
American Dallas/Ft Worth (21), Miami (14) Dallas/Ft Worth (28)
Continental Houston (18), Newark (21) Cleveland (7), Houston (17), Newark (19)
Delta Atlanta (80), Detroit (20), New York LaGuardia (20) Atlanta (74), Cincinnati (6), Detroit (25), New York LaGuardia (6)
United Chicago O’Hare (21), Washington Dulles (28) Chicago O’Hare (19), Washington Dulles (21)
US Airways Charlotte (63), New York LaGuardia (13), Philadelphia (23), Washington Reagan (30) Charlotte (53), Philadelphia (18), Washington Reagan (17)
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 4 October 2010

At Greenville/Spartanburg, some low-cost flights are offered by Allegiant Air, which currently operates twice-weekly to Fort Lauderdale and Punta Gorda, three-times weekly to St Petersburg/Clearwater, and four times weekly to Orlando. All four of these destinations are in Florida. Interestingly, Allegiant is moving its Orlando flights to Orlando Sanford next February.


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