Myrtle Beach travelers will have more options starting this week to fly to and from Philadelphia and Baltimore-Washington.
Spirit Airlines, which carries about half the passengers each year at Myrtle Beach International Airport, will start daily service between Myrtle Beach and those two airports Thursday.
Myrtle Beach already has service to those areas, including U.S. Airways to Philadelphia. But tourism and golf leaders heralded the two additional options when Spirit announced them in January.
“The launch of nonstop flight service from Philadelphia International Airport is great news for the Grand Strand and golfers in one of our most popular feeder markets,” Bill Golden, president of marketing group Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, said in a news release. “The new service will allow golfers from Philadelphia to be on the first tee two hours after takeoff, maximizing the enjoyment of their next Myrtle Beach golf trip.”
The daily flights will leave Philadelphia at 8:20 a.m. and arrive in Myrtle Beach at 9:55 a.m., then leave Myrtle Beach at noon and arrive in Philadelphia at 1:35 p.m.
Spirit earlier this month added Philadelphia International Airport to its route network with the first flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, though they started a day later than scheduled because of a delay in authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration. Spirit, which has been in business for 25 years, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that it had never had trouble getting authorization in time.
Spirit did not criticize the FAA but acknowledged that the only difference now is the federal spending cuts that began March 1, the newspaper reported.
“We followed our normal process, which was to submit our application to fly, through the regulatory folks at the FAA within the appropriate time,” Spirit chief operating officer Tony Lefebvre told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Normally, we get expeditious approval and have no issues.”
As for the Myrtle Beach-Baltimore-Washington route, the daily flights will leave Baltimore-Washington at 10:45 a.m. and arrive in Myrtle Beach at 12:10 p.m. It will leave Myrtle Beach at 5:20 p.m. and arrive in Baltimore-Washington at 6:40 p.m.
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