Allegiant will operate three new seasonal routes to Myrtle Beach International Airport from New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania beginning this summer, continuing the carrier’s trend of growing its Myrtle Beach network every year, the carrier announced Tuesday.
“Allegiant has been the airport’s fastest growing airline for the past couple of years and with today’s announcement of new air service from Harrisburg, Toledo and Stewart to Myrtle Beach, it appears that the growth trend will continue in 2016,” said Pat Apone, director of airports.
The new routes will operate twice a week beginning May 19 from Harrisburg, Penn., June 3 from Toledo, Ohio, and June 16 from Stewart, N.Y. The flights will run into September.
New air service at Myrtle Beach International Airport:
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania flights will run May 19 through Sept. 18
Toledo, Ohio flights will run June 3 through Sept. 26
Stewart, New York flights will run June 16 though Sept. 25
With these additional flights, Allegiant will operate 15 routes into the Myrtle Beach area, which the airline estimates will bring nearly 35,000 tourists to the Grand Strand.
Tourism officials have said that adding air service is a key to growing the Grand Strand’s tourism industry. Allegiant has added destinations and started some seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach earlier than usual in recent years.
Last year, Allegiant brought nearly 80,000 passengers to Myrtle Beach, up from roughly 50,000 in 2014, according to airport statistics.
That growth led to a record year of passengers overall for the Myrtle Beach airport in 2014.
“It’s fantastic news for Myrtle Beach,” said Kirk Lovell, assistant director of Horry County Airports. “It allows us to bring new tourists to our market to enjoy Myrtle Beach, it really helps with the economy, and it opens us up to new destinations, and increases the opportunity for people to fly on affordable airlines.”
It allows us to bring new tourists to our market to enjoy Myrtle Beach, it really helps with the economy, and it opens us up to new destinations, and increases the opportunity for people to fly on affordable airlines.
Kirk Lovell, assistant director of Horry County Airports
The rapid growth of Allegiant’s low-cost service prompted concerns last summer that it came at the cost of high quality operations.
The Washington Post reported in August that amid second-quarter profits of 63 percent, the airline experienced maintenance issues that made national headlines.
One emergency landing occurred after a bug caused a sensor malfunction, and another incident involving an emergency landing that occurred after a flight had been cleared to enter closed airspace where the Blue Angels were training.
“We don’t want to grow so fast that we get ahead of ourselves,” Jude Bricker, Allegiant’s senior vice president for planning, told the Post.
We’re working hard to improve operations.
Lee Warren, director of planning at Allegiant
The airline was also criticized Monday in a report by the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition that claimed maintenance issues had caused flight departure delays.
Asked about the reports Tuesday following the Myrtle Beach announcement, Lee Warren, director of planning at Allegiant, said “I don’t think passengers need to be concerned.”
“We’re working hard to improve operations,” Warren said.