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Southwest resumes daily flights from CHS to Denver

Transportation
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A Southwest 737-700 waits on the tarmac at Charleston International Airport in 2019. (Photo/File)Southwest Airlines will resume direct daily connections between Charleston and Denver starting March 11.

The Dallas-based airline was the first to offer nonstop flights between Charleston International Airport and the Colorado hub when it introduced a once-a-week route in June 2016. A year later, Southwest expanded the service to a daily connection, which was paused temporarily last spring as a result of the growing pandemic.

Charleston County Aviation Authority CEO Elliott Summey said he is excited to resume the route to Denver International Airport again.

“This outstanding news for our industry and community continues an impressive run of significant air service announcements in recent months,” he said. “As we navigate our pandemic recovery, we are encouraged by these votes of confidence in the strength, potential, and desirability of the Charleston market.” 

Southwest’s CHS to DEN daily schedule beginning March 11 will be: 

• Depart Charleston at 5:15 p.m. Arrive in Denver at 7:35 p.m. 

• Depart Denver at 6:15 p.m. Arrive in Charleston at 11:30 p.m. 

“We’re pleased to build on the past success of this route between the Lowcountry and the Rockies to offer nonstop service daily beginning in March,” Southwest Airlines Vice President of Network Planning Adam Decaire said. “This time-saving trip links two places where the great outdoors and Southern Hospitality are proving popular as leisure travel rebounds.” 

The daily service provides another nonstop connection between Charleston and Denver as United Airlines too resumed its direct route three months ago. The airline similarly paused it during the pandemic.

The Southwest resumption could bring a boost to the airport, which recently released its 2020 holiday travel numbers. Between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3, a total of 26,023 travelers passed through the airport, compared to 45,052 in the same seven-day period in 2019, according to Charleston International Airport.

In total for 2020, passenger count fell a little over 43% compared to last year, which saw a record for the airport with 4.9 million people traveling over the 12-month course. 

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

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