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Myrtle Beach will soon be in reach for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport

Lackawanna County Commissioner Chairman Matt McGloin, at the podium,
Roger DuPuis
Lackawanna County Commissioner Chairman Matt McGloin, at the podium, talks about Breeze Airways' planned seasonal nonstop service from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport during a press conference in the airport terminal on Wednesday morning. Listening from left are airport service development director Eric McKitish, airport director Carl Beardsley Jr., Lackawanna County Commissioner Bill Gaughan, and Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce President Bob Durkin. The new service is scheduled to begin June 20.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport will soon add seasonal direct flights to another destination, building on a string of new services announced in recent months.

Twice-weekly Breeze Airways service to Myrtle Beach, S.C. is scheduled to begin June 20, airport officials said Wednesday. The flights will operate until Oct. 27 this year and resume again next year, company officials said.

Airport Executive Director Carl Beardsley Jr. summed up the draw of the new destination in simple terms.

"People love the beach. They love golfing," Beardsley said.

"The summer months will be great for our area's beachgoers, and both September and October are great months for golfing in Myrtle Beach," Lackawanna County Commissioner Chairman Matt McGloin added.

The Myrtle Beach flights will be offered on Thursdays and Sundays. Introductory one-way fares starting at $49 will be available if booked by April 30.

Beardsley said travelers can begin searching for fares and booking flights at www.flybreeze.com/home.

The flights between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AVP) and Myrtle Beach (MYR) will operate on Thursdays and Sundays as follows:

  • Southbound
    Depart AVP 4:55 p.m., arrive MYR 6:40 p.m.
  • Northbound
    Depart MYR 2:30 p.m., arrive AVP 4:20 p.m.

'Quality of life' and business impact

Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce President Bob Durkin suggested that the latest addition to the airport's route offerings does more than give travelers another leisure destination: It will enhance the attractiveness of the region for potential new arrivals.

"Helping the existing businesses and their workforce is really important, and a critical component of that is talent attraction," Durkin said, adding that offering flights to destinations such as Myrtle Beach sends a signal to those eyeing the region "about all the amenities, the quality of life components" available in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

AVP sees expansions, growth

For the airport, those signals have been growing stronger in recent months:

As WVIA reported earlier this month, the new Breeze flights to Orlando already are helping fuel an overall increase in passenger volume for the airport. That was a significant development, as AVP had been without direct flights to Florida since Allegiant Air discontinued service in 2018.

Nearly 1,000 passengers flew on the Orlando service in its first month, Beardsley has said, while American Airlines flights saw almost 2,500 more departures in February compared to last February.

That contrasts with the dominant trend in 2023, when the last 10 months of the year saw airport departures dropping compared to the same month the previous year.

"We have seen great demand from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as seen through the expansion of our Orlando service and this new flight to Myrtle Beach," Breeze Airways President Tom Doxey said in a release issued Wednesday.

The discount carrier, which launched in May 2021, expects to use its Embraer 195 jets for the flights, officials said.

Roger DuPuis joins WVIA News from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. His 24 years of experience in journalism, as both a reporter and editor, included several years at The Scranton Times-Tribune. His beat assignments have ranged from breaking news, local government and politics, to business, healthcare, and transportation. He has a lifelong interest in urban transit, particularly light rail, and authored a book about Philadelphia's trolley system.

You can email Roger at rogerdupuis@wvia.org
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