New flights will enhance the state’s economic development marketability
COLUMBIA, S.C. – British Airways, a full-service global airline, today announced plans for new, non-stop air service between London’s Heathrow Airport and the Charleston International Airport. The twice-weekly flight, slated to start in April 2019, marks the first direct trans-Atlantic flight from the state of South Carolina.
Operating on Thursdays and Sundays, outbound flights will depart from Charleston at 10:50 p.m. and arrive in London the next morning at 11:50 a.m. Return flights will leave London at 5:20 p.m. and arrive in Charleston at 9:20 p.m.
Officials estimate the economic impact generated by new job creation and activity associated with the new flights could exceed $20 million annually in tourism. From an industry recruitment perspective, South Carolina already provides excellent access to major business points all over the country. Now, with these new flights, the state will offer connectivity to Western Europe, enhancing the marketability of South Carolina as a top destination for international business.
In a unique nod to South Carolina’s local manufacturing community, British Airways will utilize a North Charleston-built Boeing Dreamliner 787-8 for the new air service.
The S.C. Department of Commerce has committed approximately $1.3 million for the air service’s first season to assist with the costs of the project.
“The significance of connecting the Charleston region and the state of South Carolina to London and Western Europe via this flight cannot be overstated. This is the power of collaborative economic development, and this achievement will advance our role in global commerce and elevate our profile among both business and leisure travelers.” –Gov. Henry McMaster
“This is ultimately a game-changer in that the connectivity our very first international passenger flight will offer the Lowcountry region and South Carolina to Western Europe makes the state a more attractive destination to companies that are looking to locate headquarters facilities or other office operations. These flights will make South Carolina an even more viable candidate for economic development, giving us additional tools to compete in the global economy.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“Air service has been a major part of our strategic efforts throughout the last decade. We’ve enjoyed tremendous growth with our exceptional domestic air carriers over the last decade. All along, we’ve known this region needs direct service to Europe to support our growing number of business and leisure passengers. London and the United Kingdom have consistently been at the top of our list of preferred international destinations.” –Charleston County Aviation Authority CEO Paul Campbell
“The British Airways announcement is monumental for the Palmetto State. This will be great for travelers and will serve as a catalyst for new economic development opportunities as international companies look at where to locate. South Carolina’s role in the global economy continues to grow and having non-stop service from Charleston to London is a big win for the state.” –S.C. Chamber President and CEO Ted Pitts
FIVE FAST FACTS
- British Airways will operate non-stop air service between London’s Heathrow Airport and the Charleston International Airport.
- This marks the first direct trans-Atlantic air service from the state of South Carolina.
- The twice-weekly flight will operate on Thursdays and Sundays beginning in April 2019.
- British Airways will utilize a South Carolina-built Boeing Dreamliner 787-8 for the new air service.
- Officials estimate the economic impact generated by new job creation and activity associated with the new flights could exceed $20 million annually in tourism alone.