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Direct Air adding new flights to Myrtle Beach area

Local carrier Direct Air will add flights to Hagerstown, Md., and Lakeland, Fla., at Myrtle Beach International Airport, officials announced Wednesday morning during a press conference.

The Myrtle Beach-based charter company announced the flights are scheduled to begin June 23.

The Hagerstown flight is intended to serve the Washington and Baltimore suburbs. The Lakeland flight will serve the Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg area and will also target SC visitors who want to vacation in Florida. Both areas have been underserved by airlines, according to Direct.

Direct will be the latest airline to announce expanded service for 2011. Sprit Airlines will fly to five new destinations beginning in May and Porter Airlines will start fall season service to Toronto.

The new air service this year will help the airport meet its goal of serving 1 million passengers, Airport Director Michael La Pier said.

"If you look what we already added: five new destinations from Spirit and this from Direct and Allegiant [Air] returning soon...We think that equates to the growth we need to get a million," La Pier said.

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