CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More Lowcountry residents are flying out of Charleston International Airport, according to airport officials.
They say the increase this year comes during what is usually a slower travel period.
Airport officials say between Jan. 1 and April 30 enplanements, passengers boarding a flight departing for one of 18 nonstop destinations, increased nearly 7 percent.
A press release states deplanements, passengers flying into Charleston, increased 5.6 percent.
"In the past, January and February typically have been two of the slower months for travel, then when spring arrives things pick up again. These days we don't seem to have many slow months," said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
According to the airport, Charleston has set passenger records for each of the last five years, including in 2016 when 3.7 million people flew in and out of the Holy City.
Campbell predicts that 2017 could hit 4 million passengers.
"So far in 2017 there have been 1,169,843 people to fly in and out of Charleston International," officials said."That's an increase of 6.2 percent over the same four months in 2016."
"We continue to experience good growth thanks to strong business climate and a robust tourism industry," Campbell said. "Several of our airlines have increased the number of daily flights and are flying larger aircraft. That means more people have more choices when flying to and from Charleston."
Charleston International officials say they currently have 140 daily arrivals and departures and the most daily nonstop flights of any South Carolina airport, connecting passengers to 18 cities and 22 airports.
"Starting June 4 there will be two new destinations," according to a press release."Southwest begins daily nonstop seasonal flights to Denver and St. Louis. Other airlines serving Charleston are Delta Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines."