Airline launches new LAX to CHS flight

Updated: Dec. 18, 2020 at 8:31 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The first direct flight from California to South Carolina will be landing in Charleston, Friday.

The Charleston County Airport Aviation Authority says the new flight will benefit more than the city’s tourism industry.

This new JetBlue flight from Los Angeles to Charleston will be the first flight from California to any airport in South Carolina.

Charleston County Aviation Authority Executive Director and CEO Elliott Summey says the Port of Charleston will potentially benefit more from this route than the tourism industry.

Summey says the Port of Charleston has a lot of customers in Asia, and this will make it easier for them to bring in customers or allow Asian companies to check on operations at the port.

There is only one other flight from Charleston to the West Coast, and with this new route flying directly into LAX, Summey calls it the gateway to Asia.

Jet Blue says the flight will operate with a 162-passenger Airbus A320.

Summey says the reason JetBlue is starting this operation amid the pandemic is because it’s been in the works for several years, so they were more than ready to roll out the flight.

JetBlue plans to run the flight once or twice a week, but as people start traveling more, they say they plan to start running it every day.

“From an economic development standpoint, there are a lot of parts and pieces to the Daimler Mercedes Vans and to the Boeing 787 that are built in Asia,” Summey said. “And this is a great opportunity for our port. This is a great opportunity to call on those captains of industry in China, Hong Kong, Japan and elsewhere.”

The first flight is scheduled to land around 4 p.m. Friday and Summey says it will likely run Mondays and Fridays for the first few weeks.

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