Southwest, JetBlue to add new flights next year to Midwest and Northeast from Charleston

December 17, 2021

Post & Courier

By Warren L. Wise

Two of the nearly dozen airlines serving Charleston will launch new nonstop routes next year to large metropolitan areas in the Midwest and Northeast.

Dallas-based Southwest will offer seasonal flights on Saturday only starting June 11 to Kansas City and St. Louis, while JetBlue Airways will begin service up to three times a day starting June 9 to LaGuardia Airport in its home base of New York City.

“This is exciting news for Charleston,” airport spokesman Spencer Pryor said. “Anytime we can increase the frequency of flights to New York, it’s a win-win for business and leisure travelers. It’s also an opportunity for us to provide air service to some of the most popular cities in the Midwest.

The two-hour flight to St. Louis leaves Charleston at 7:55 p.m. while the two-and-a-half-hour leg to Kansas City departs from the Lowcountry at 3:05 p.m. The new routes go until Labor Day weekend, according to Southwest’s flight schedule.

JetBlue’s schedule currently shows two daily flights to LaGuardia on June 9, but a third one could be added, according to the airline. One flight leaves Charleston at 1:30 p.m. while another departs the Lowcountry at 5:01 p.m. Departure times can vary, and both flights are under two hours. JetBlue’s booking schedule goes through Nov. 12.

JetBlue already offers flights twice a day between the Lowcountry and John F. Kennedy International Airport and once a day between Charleston and Newark Liberty International Airport in the Big Apple’s metro area.

Southwest had previously planned to offer a Saturday-only route to Kansas City, starting in June 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic sidelined the service.

The carrier will be the second airline to offer flights to the St. Louis area.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant will bring back seasonal flights twice a week, starting April 14, to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport near Belleville, about 18 miles east of downtown St. Louis. Southwest will fly into St. Louis Lambert International Airport in the city.

The airlines’ new flights come on the heels of several other carriers’ announcements recently of additional routes.

Breeze Airways is adding new East Coast service twice a week to Long Island, N.Y., and on Saturday only to Palm Beach, Fla., in February.

Delta Air Lines will add a daily route to Minneapolis in April along with Charleston’s newest carrier, Sun Country Airlines, and its twice-weekly flights to the Twin Cities area starting that same month.

Southwest also will offer daily flights to Austin, Texas, in March.