Returning seasonal flights a sign of future expansion at MYR

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Airport officials say the return of several seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach International this summer is a sign of continued expansion.

MYR Spokeswoman Lauren Morris says several of Spirit Airlines' seasonal routes, which debuted last year, will be back in the next few months. Morris mentioned returning service to Plattsburgh, New York, Niagara Falls and Charleston, West Virginia.

Spirit's flight to Washington, D.C. is on hold for now, awaiting approval for the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to Morris.

Michael LaPier, Horry County Airports' director, says the flights are a sign of the expanding interest in the Grand Strand. He expects some more announcements of new seasonal service within the next few months.

"We're looking for some announcements from Direct Air. Hopefully those will come soon. We think there's still some possibility from Spirit to add a couple markets," said LaPier.

The potential added flights come just as the airport is well underway with its terminal expansion project, expected to double the number of gates.

LaPier says this year the airport's focus is to target specific markets and add even more service ahead of the expansion.

"Philadelphia is one, Minneapolis is one and Indianapolis is another, but we're also looking heavily at international service looking at Canada in particular," he said.

The people who run Myrtle Beach's Whispering Pines Golf Course are looking forward to the returning and additional flights.

"We didn't have much hotel traffic last year, package play. I think [new flights will] increase that a lot because when they get off the plane they'll see us. We're visible," said Alan Chasteen, head golf pro and general manager.

Officials expect the terminal project to be complete in January 2013.

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