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Charleston Business

Despite January Dip, Airport Officials Expect Big Year

Feb 28, 2018 09:35AM ● By Kathleen Maris
While passenger traffic at Charleston International Airport took an 11.6 percent dip in January, 2018 is expected to be another banner year as two new airlines gear up operations and existing airlines increase routes, particularly for the spring and summer high travel season.

“We were disappointed to see the decrease, but it was expected. With two new airlines, several new routes, and travel remaining at a high, I am confident 2018 will be another record-breaking year,” said Paul G. Campbell Jr., executive director and CEO of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

In January, 218,748 people flew in and out of the airport, a decrease from 247,526 during the same month in 2017. This was the result of a severe winter storm in which several inches of snow and ice blanketed the runways and taxiways, significantly affecting airport operations. Charleston International ended 2017 with a record 3,987,427 passengers.

Contributing to the continued growth of the airport in 2018 will be:
- Larger aircraft flown by legacy carriers such as American and United airlines.
- The addition of new routes: Delta to Boston and American to Chicago
- Two new airlines – Frontier and Allegiant (the latter starting April 4) with nonstop service to Denver, Philadelphia, Austin, Trenton, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh.
- Additional service from four to five days a week by Alaska Air.

“We continue to grow and look forward to 2018 being an outstanding year,” Campbell said. “We should easily top 4 million.”