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MB route will fly to New York

Travelers will have another way to fly to New York come March when US Airways becomes the second airline offering direct flights from Myrtle Beach to La Guardia.

US Airways, Myrtle Beach's largest airline, will start the daily La Guardia flight March 4, when most carriers step up service for the busy tourist season.

The airline intends for the flights to continue year round, a goal that's been tough for carriers to pull off in the beach's seasonal market.

Spirit, the beach's second largest carrier, also flies direct to La Guardia, even during the winter lull.

"It will help keep prices competitive," said Nicole Aiello, spokeswoman for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

US Airways added the La Guardia connection to serve tourists from the New York area wanting a beach or golf vacation, said Valerie Wunder, the airline's spokeswoman.

New York is one of the Grand Strand's top five tourist markets behind the Carolinas and Ohio, and the No. 1 golf market, according to the chamber and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday.

"This destination serves every niche - from family vacations to spring break getaways to those looking for a round of golf in between meetings," Andrew Nocella, US Airways senior vice president of scheduling, planning and alliances, said in a news release.

There's also a large number of beach residents from New York, especially retirees, who can fill the planes, Wunder said. In October and November, New York residents made the most requests for information about relocating here than anywhere else, according to the chamber.

The US Airways plane will leave La Guardia daily at 9:31 a.m. and arrive in Myrtle Beach at 11:36 a.m. - good news for golfers wanting to squeeze in a round when they get off the plane.

The flight to La Guardia will leave Myrtle Beach at 12:10 p.m. and arrive at 1:57 p.m.

US Airways will use small, 50-seat Embraer 145 aircraft through its US Airways Express carrier, Chautauqua Airlines.

Tickets already are on sale.

Travelers will find more options at Myrtle Beach International Airport this spring with the addition of at least a half-dozen destinations.

Spirit will start flying Feb. 15 to Fort Lauderdale. On March 2, Southern Skyways will begin service to Charleston, W.Va., Allentown, Pa., and Cincinnati. Upstart Myrtle Beach Direct Air will start service to Pittsburgh, Newark, N.J., and Niagara Falls, N.Y., on March 7.

Myrtle Beach to La Guardia

Airline plans daily, direct flights to New York City:

Airline | US Airways

Start date | March 4

Times | Plane departs La Guardia daily at 9:31 a.m. and arrives in Myrtle Beach at 11:36 a.m. The flight to La Guardia will leave Myrtle Beach at 12:10 p.m. and arrive at 1:57 p.m.

Jet | 50-seat Embraer 145 aircraft