NORTH CHARLESTON — A Florida-based airline waylaid in its return to Charleston by the coronavirus has set a new date for touching down in the Lowcountry again.
Silver Airways of Fort Lauderdale will resume flights Nov. 23 eight times a week to Orlando, Tampa and its home base.
The carrier will fly to Orlando and Tampa three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and will travel to Fort Lauderdale twice a week on Monday and Friday.
The Orlando flights will continue on to Key West.
To kick off the new nonstop service, the airline is offering one-way fares from $49 for a limited time for travel through Dec. 16. Tickets must be issued by Oct. 21.
“We are (excited) to introduce low fares and nonstop service between South Carolina’s most iconic city and three favorite Sunshine State destinations with Silver Airways’ safe, reliable and customer-friendly service,” said Pedro Motta, the airline’s senior vice president of commercial and finance.
“Charleston and the surrounding Lowcountry communities are leaders in business development, serve as the home to vital military bases and provide countless vacation opportunities,” said Steve Rossum, Silver’s CEO.
Charleston airport CEO Elliott Summey called the airline’s return a win-win for people in Florida and the Lowcountry.
“Silver is a strong regional airline with an extensive network,” he said. “Their new service will not only expand our options to Fort Lauderdale, they are also opening the door to new markets in Tampa, Orlando and beyond.”
Silver Airways will serve Charleston with two aircrafts in its fleet: the 46-seat ATR 42-600 and the 70-seat ATR 72-600.
The chairwoman of Charleston County Aviation Authority called the airline’s return good news for the area’s steady progress toward recovery from the height of the economic lockdown in the spring when passenger levels plummeted 96 percent.
“Florida has long been an important market for our hospitality industry, and we know it’s a favorite among locals for a quick escape as the seasons change,” said Helen Hill, who also serves as CEO of tourism agency Explore Charleston.
Michael Tall, chairman of the tourism agency’s board of governors, called the recent string of new or returning air service announcements “votes of confidence in the strength, potential and desirability of the Charleston market.”
JetBlue Airways announced last month it will begin flying nonstop in December between Charleston and Los Angeles, the first airline to offer uninterrupted, transcontinental flights to California.
The announcement followed United Airlines’ decision to resume daily nonstop flights on Oct. 1 to Denver.
Silver Airways announced in February it would bring back year-round service to Charleston International after a five-year hiatus.
The carrier served Charleston in 2015 with daily flights to Orlando and Tampa that continued on to its home base in Fort Lauderdale, but it discontinued service after nine months, citing weak bookings.
Silver’s arrival five years ago came shortly before JetBlue added nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale from Charleston, cutting into Silver’s service.
JetBlue’s flights to South Florida resumed this month after being sidelined since the spring because of the pandemic.
Silver Airways’ flight times
Charleston to Orlando
Depart: 12:45 p.m. Monday, Friday; Arrive: 2:20 p.m.
Depart: 12:15 p.m. Wednesday; Arrive: 1:50 p.m.
Orlando to Charleston
Depart: 3:10 p.m. Monday, Friday; Arrive: 4:45 p.m.
Depart: 2:20 p.m. Wednesday; Arrive: 4:15 p.m.
Charleston to Tampa
Depart: 1:15 p.m. Monday, Friday; Arrive: 3 p.m.
Depart: 4:50 p.m. Wednesday; Arrive: 6:35 p.m.
Tampa to Charleston
Depart: 11 a.m. Monday, Friday; Arrive: 12:45 p.m.
Depart: 9:55 a.m. Wednesday; Arrive: 11:40 a.m.
Charleston to Fort Lauderdale
Depart: 5:20 p.m. Monday, Friday; Arrive: 7:30 p.m.
Fort Lauderdale to Charleston
Depart: 10 a.m. Monday, Friday; Arrive: 12:10 p.m.
For tickets, go to: http://bit.ly/flySilver-Charleston
Source: Charleston County Aviation Authority
Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.