Southwest announces non-stop flights, special fares to Charleston

A Southwest plane is parked at a gate at Charleston International Airport on Wednesday
A Southwest plane is parked at a gate at Charleston International Airport on Wednesday
Bob West, Vice President of Southwest Airlines
Bob West, Vice President of Southwest Airlines

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Southwest Airlines is coming to Charleston in March and Wednesday it announced Charleston flights, destinations and fares. 

The airline announced that it will begin service to Charleston on March 13, 2011.

Southwest will offer seven weekday departures from Charleston, including one roundtrip flight to Nashville, three to Baltimore/Washington, two to Chicago Midway and one to Houston.

Including direct and connecting service, Southwest will offer service between Charleston and 65 other cities.

Vice President Bob Montgomery said that once Southwest Airlines pick a new home, they are there to stay, and he said Charleston was an easy place to pick.

"Mainly because of the business community and the attraction of Charleston as a destination with many things you're doing like the Spoleto Festival," Montgomery said. "It's the people of Charleston that really attracted us."

Southwest also announced that it will offer a special two-day fare sale on Through 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, customers can find fares as low as $30 one-way to any nonstop market to and from Charleston and Greenville for travel through April 6, 2011.

When the $30 fare ends, customers will still be able to book fares as low as $59 one-way for travel every day except Fridays and Sundays March 14, 2011, through May 25, 2011.

Charleston Aviation Board Chairman Chip Limehouse says the low fares won't stop with Southwest because other airlines will have to follow.

"They'll have to drop their prices too," Limehouse said. "Delta will have to follow suit, US Air will have to follow suit. Low fare flights mean everything good."

Southwest Airlines held a press conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Charleston International Airport to make the announcement. Southwest Airlines had one of its Boeing 737 aircraft at the airport.

South Carolina will become the 36th state and Charleston will become the 71st city to have Southwest Airlines.

Southwest only flies one plane, the Boeing 737, which is a full-size plane that seats 137 passengers. Since there is only one kind of plane, it makes for easy maintenance and cuts down on turnaround time.

A similar, simultaneous announcement was held in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC to announce Southwest's fares, flights and destinations to the Upstate.

From the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, Southwest will offer one nonstop roundtrip flight to Nashville, two to Baltimore/Washington, one to Houston Hobby, one to Orlando and two to Chicago Midway.

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