MYR sees record number of fliers in August - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

MYR sees record number of fliers in August

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - August 2013 has been the best on record for Myrtle Beach International.

Airfare is cheap, and new routes have brought in more passengers, but airport personnel say airlines like Southwest or JetBlue look at something else before deciding where to land.

Delta and United Airlines both saw a 10 percent increase in August. US Airlines actually reached 19 percent, and Spirit saw a whopping 34 percent increase in passengers - making August 2013 the best on record.

"Year over year we have a lot more capacity, a lot more seats come into Myrtle Beach. We introduced new non-stop flights into new markets, and a new carrier as well," said MYR spokesman Kirk Lovell.

And according to Cheapfares.com, MYR has the second lowest airfares in the country.

Lovell says the combination brought in 105,000 passengers - that's almost 18,000 more people, and 130 737's worth of passengers coming to the airport.

"We opened up a gate in B earlier this year. Opening up the rest of B next year will handle the capacity and planes we're getting right now," Lovell added.

With more flights coming in and more flights going out, the new routes to places like Boston are attracted people who otherwise wouldn't like to drive this far south for vacation.

"It would be 12 hours, and I don't have time to drive. I like flying. We're here in half the time," said Susan Rossi, MYR traveler.

With more people coming in to Myrtle Beach, won't other carriers take notice?

Well according to Lovell, the big carriers don't base their decisions over how many travelers stop at the airport. It's more about how marketable the final destination is for that airline.

"You're not coming to Myrtle Beach to see the airport. What generates revenue is the market, it's the brand which is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina," Lovell explained.

Though rumors spread almost weekly of big airlines that might consider Myrtle Beach, one airport employee assured that the big carriers prefer to operate out of hubs like Charlotte, Atlanta, or Nashville - not out of a final destination like Myrtle Beach.

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