Southwest Airlines, one of the busiest carriers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, plans to fill a gap in its service area and begin flights to South Carolina.
The discount carrier announced today that it will add Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg to the 68 U.S. cities it now serves. Southwest plans to release details such as start dates, destinations and fares later.
It's not clear whether Southwest will consider adding RDU for South Carolina flights. No airline currently flies nonstop between RDU and Charleston or Greenville-Spartanburg, both about 250 miles away.
But Southwest is expanding its service at RDU. On Sunday, the carrier began one daily nonstop flight between RDU and St. Louis. The airline also added one daily departure each to Chicago’s Midway International Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Airport.
Southwest currently offers 31 daily flights from RDU to 11 destinations. The carrier accounted for 21.25 percent of the traffic at RDU last year, trailing only Delta and American.
Lawmakers in South Carolina are considering providing subsidies to attract low-fare carriers and increase competition, but Southwest officials say they're aren't waiting for that legislation.