Charleston's airport sets air-travel record in 2016

Updated: Jan. 19, 2017 at 2:42 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston International Airport posted its sixth straight year of growth in 2016, setting a new record for air travel from the facility.

Passenger departures and arrivals grew for the sixth straight year to 3.7 million, an increase of 8.4 percent over 2015, airport spokesperson Charlene Gunnells said.

The number also represents a growth of 83 percent since 2010.

Over the past four years, the airport underwent a four-year renovation and redevelopment project, which Gunnells described as a time during which "the airport essentially was demolished from the inside then rebuild and expanded."

"We are proud that the airport not only reflects the genuine charm and hospitality of the region but is a world-class facility that is a proven contributor to the region's economy," Charleston County Aviation Authority Executive Director and CEO Paul G. Campbell, Jr. said.

The airport contributes more than $1 billion to the local economy through jobs at its terminal and those created by visiting air travelers, Gunnells said.

JetBlue Airways added a second daily nonstop flight to Boston and a third flight to Washington's Reagan National Airport in 2016. Southwest Airlines launched Saturday-only flights to Denver.

Southwest plans to fly nonstop to Denver seven days a week beginning June 4, and to add weekend service to St. Louis later in the year.

In the spring, American Airlines will go from 18 to 23 flights per day, increasing mainline flights to its hub in Charlotte and doubling its seat capacity to Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as adding two more nonstop daily flights to Philadelphia and one to Miami.

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