MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Elite Airways unveiled three new routes to and from Myrtle Beach International Airport from Albany, NY, White Plains, NY, and Newport News, VA starting in the first week in April.
The new twice-weekly non-stop routes from Albany International Airport and Westchester County Airport in New York start at $199 each way with early-bird fares, according to a news release from the airline. The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport flight starts at $129 each way.
Myrtle Beach International Airport is the fastest growing airport in South Carolina, and continues to grow. With more passengers coming and going and more arrivals than ever before, capacity for spring is up a little over 20 percent since last year.
"We are pleased to start scheduled service at Albany and Newport News this year while expanding our presence in White Plains and Myrtle Beach, and believe this is a win-win for passengers looking to enjoy world-class vacation getaways," said Elite Airways president John Pearsall. "All Myrtle Beach fares include first checked bag or oversized golf bag for free, plus no ticketing change fees—all of which add up to compelling cost savings for passengers who want flexibility and peace of mind. We look forward to a very successful start of service in April and thank airport and community leaders in Myrtle Beach, Albany, White Plains, and Newport News for their support."
Elite Airways operates a fleet of Bombardier CRJ-200 and CRJ-700 jet airliners, the release states. Passengers receive free on-board snacks and beverages. The airline is also pet-friendly.
"Horry County Department of Airports is excited with Elite's decision to commence operations at the Myrtle Beach International Airport," said Scott Van Moppes, director of airports. "Elite's launch of nonstop air service to/from White Plains, Albany and Newport News is fantastic news for the traveling public. These three markets are new for our airport — no other carrier at MYR offers nonstop service. We look forward to working with Elite Airways and welcoming their passengers to Myrtle Beach, SC."
The announcement of Elite Airways offering three new non-stop flights to and from Myrtle Beach is of course exciting news for the city, but also the golf industry here along the Grand Strand.
Bill Golden, the CEO of Golf Tour says that these new services will allow them to market to the golfers by introducing them with a non-stop flight along with a golf package.
"Anytime we can add flight capacity in the golf seasons, specifically spring and fall it really helps our business. Some of the markets that were announced today don't have any current non-stop air service and that allows us the ability to market to our consumers market to golfers and to introduce a non-stop flight along with a golf package. Now we can compete with other destinations in those markets and the likelihood of us acquiring new consumers is very high," said Golden.
Elite Airways will help drive business all around by offering an affordable, convenient and easy way for not only future residents but also visitors that travel to Myrtle Beach.
"Every one of our routes has to be successful which is why we took a very deliberate period time to identify: Myrtle Beach and White Plains, Myrtle Beach and Albany, Myrtle Beach and Newport News, because we know they are going to be successful," said David Dow, VP of Elite Airways.
Elite Airways not only accommodates golfers, but everyone who wants to travel and experience quality customer service while in the air and on the ground.
"Golf bags fly for free. So not only do people fly non-stop but so do their golf bags. When you get on the aircraft you are going to get a drink and a snack. Like the old days when your experience was part of the travel not just a dreaded experience you don't look forward to. Now it's exciting and fun and you get your respect. If you change your plans we're not going to keep your money or charge you penalties or fees. We'll just work with you on it and give you a voucher and you can use it anytime in the future," said Dow.
Todd Setzer, Board Member, MBACC, explained how this new opportunity will help Myrtle Beach's shoulder seasons and how they hope to attract new visitors to the area.
"We're always trying to grow 'visitorship' here in the Myrtle Beach area. Obviously during our summer season, we do very well. We are always trying to grow our shoulder season and make it more year-round. One thing that we do know is that if people come here once, we're going to have them come back a second time and a third time, maybe even a future residence here in the Myrtle Beach market. So opportunities like this present great opportunity for the future of the Myrtle Beach market" said Setzer.