Southwest Airlines, a low-cost air carrier, will begin service to the Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg airports in 2011. Berkeley County Senator Larry Grooms made the annoucement from the floor of the state Senate Tuesday afternoon.
(Grooms on Southwest Airlines MP3 2:50)
Grooms on Southwest Airlines
Lawmakers say the airline agreed to come to the state without any tax subsidies from the state. There has been legislation pending in the statehouse to provide subsidies.
A Southwest press release indicates that the company reported a profitable start to the year with its first quarter 2010 financial results last month. Southwest attributed that performance to its revenue management efforts, which officials say has allowed the company to grow in destinations without growing its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.
The 38-year-old airline serves 68 cities in 35 states and is the largest U.S. carrier, based on domestic passengers carried. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has more than 35,000 employees.