SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport announced Thursday that it will be adding a new airline carrier.
Southwest Airlines is adding service to Savannah in 2021. The following statement is from a Southwest Airlines news release.
“Today we announce our intention to add service in first half 2021 to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport, Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in Georgia, and a return to Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in Mississippi. We are leveraging additional airports in cornerstone cities where our customer base is large, along with adding easier access to popular leisure-oriented destinations from across our domestic-focused network.”
The addition of Southwest Airlines to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport means that SAV will now have nine airlines with non-stop service to over twenty-eight destinations.
The airline has yet to announce the launch date or the destinations but plans to start service in 2021.
“Anytime you add another carrier it brings competition. Southwest is a low cost carrier so you know that’s going to help the more flights you have the more seats people have to choose from and so it usually helps the fares, so we’re really thrilled about that, but also the Southwest reputation. You know everybody has been asking for them for years,” Director of Marketing and Air Service Development Lori Lynah said.
Locals say they are excited about the deal, but not surprised.
“Savannah’s great. I mean, you know this is the Hostess City, we’re not surprised that people want to come. It’s put a little stipend on a lot of people from coming but I see they are starting to come back,” Savannah resident Welling Fields said.
Airport leaders say they are still down to about 60 percent of normal business, but see things pick up Thursday through Monday. They are doing what they can to bring back more traffic and say this helps even as they compete with nearby markets.
“We’re two hours in between Charleston and Jacksonville and both of them have Southwest, so we knew we were losing people,” Lynah said.
Though Savannah/Hilton Head airport’s expansion hasn’t happened yet, officials say they have plenty of room for Southwest to spread their wings. No routes have been announced at this time, but some are hopeful they will offer something new.
“Definitely from the Northeast and if they are coming from anywhere in the delta markets and you don’t have to fly though Atlanta then praise the lord,” Hilton Head Island resident Peter Geary said.