Southwest lands in South Carolina (Greenville-Spartanburg and Charleston); now serving 71 airports in 36 states

This past weekend, Southwest began serving Greenville-Spartanburg. The celebrations, which lasted all weekend, included a press conference where speeches were held by both Minor Shaw, vice chair GSP Airport Commission, and Dave Edwards, the airport’s Executive Director. A tree was also planted to commemorate the arrival of the airline to the South Carolina airport.

Now Serving Greenvilla-Spartanburg and CharlestonLast weekend saw South Carolina become the 36th US state to be served by Southwest Airlines when flights began at Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) and Charleston (CHS) airports. The two airports became the carrier’s 70th and 71st on its network, with Newark becoming the 72nd at the end of this month. The decision to serve these airports was announced last October and initially, both airports will welcome seven daily arrivals and departures. Charleston will be connected to four Southwest bases (Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Nashville and Houston Hobby), while Greenville/Spartanburg also gets an additional connection to Orlando. The network and weekly departures are summarise in the following table.

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 Airlines

According to US DOT Office of Aviation Analysis data for the third quarter of 2010, Charleston ranked as the 11th most expensive airport for domestic passengers in the US (out of 121 analysed) with an average fare premium of 18.4%. Greenville/Spartanburg ranked as the 23rd most expensive with an average fare premium of 7.9%.

Legacy carriers dominate at present

Both airports are well-served by the major legacy carriers, operating mostly 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 (20), Newark (25) Cleveland (7), Houston (18), Newark (13)
Delta Atlanta (76), Detroit (18), New York LaGuardia (27), Washington Reagan (6) Atlanta (69), Cincinnati (7), Detroit (25), New York LaGuardia (6)
United Chicago O’Hare (28), Washington Dulles (28) Chicago O’Hare (26), Washington Dulles (20)
US Airways Charlotte (64), New York LaGuardia (17), Philadelphia (24), Washington Reagan (27) Charlotte (53), New York LaGuardia (5), Philadelphia (17), Washington Reagan (13)
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 6 June 2011

At Greenville/Spartanburg, some low-cost flights are offered by Allegiant Air, which this summer will operate twice-weekly to Fort Lauderdale and Punta Gorda, and three-times weekly to St Petersburg/Clearwater and Orlando Sanford. All four of these destinations are in Florida.


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