Allegiant Air will bring its expanded lineup of destinations to Myrtle Beach again next summer after a successful first season serving eight cities from here.
Allegiant brought 47,555 passengers to Myrtle Beach from May through August — about 21,000 more than the same period last summer, according to statistics from Myrtle Beach International Airport. This summer the carrier doubled the number of cities it serves from Myrtle Beach International Airport, adding Lexington, Ky.; Syracuse, N.Y., Columbus, Ohio, and Cincinnati. It continued to serve Allentown, Pa.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Huntington, W.Va.; and Youngstown, Ohio.
The lineup of eight destinations will be back next summer, Allegiant spokesman Micah Lillard said this week.
“We had a really encouraging summer in Myrtle Beach,” he said. “We’ve just been really encouraged by demand for vacations in Myrtle Beach.”
The growth in passenger numbers for Allegiant led to record-setting months for traffic at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
The airport had another record month in August, with 108,233 passengers flying into Myrtle Beach, compared to 105,045 in August 2013. It marks the sixth consecutive month for growth in passenger numbers.
Year to date, about 640,735 passengers have flown into the airport, up about 6 percent compared to the same months last year.
Officials credit the trend upwards with the additional flights, seasonal flights starting earlier than usual this year and an overall improvement in the airline industry that has led carriers to expand.
“Definitely the new service [on Allegiant] has had a huge impact on the passenger numbers,” airport spokesman Kirk Lovell said.
Headed into the slower fall season, carriers already have trimmed destinations or frequency of flights, but officials expect the year-over-year growth in passenger numbers to continue.
“The numbers will still be strong but you won’t see the volumes of people going through,” Lovell said.
The airport has gotten a number of upgrades aiming to keep up with expected growth, including a $118 million terminal that opened in April 2013 and new parking spaces that are likely to open in the new few weeks.
Last month, crews started a $20 million project to improve the runway, which is closed overnight as the work is being done.