The first week of May usually brings flowers, warming temperatures and periods of welcome rain to the Myrtle Beach area. May 2013 also brought with it a new airline route that connects Myrtle Beach to a popular place of origin for thousands of annual visiting golfers: Canada.
WestJet, founded in 1996, is the ninth-largest airline in North America, having carried more than 17 million passengers in 2012. As of early this May, WestJet is furnishing two flights per week between the newly-renovated Myrtle Beach International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport in Ontario.
Given the current popularity of Myrtle Beach as a golf destination—especially in the later fall, winter and early spring—even more Canadians should be eager to flee the cold in favor of grass, sand, sea and birdies in the cooler months.
The initial flight schedule is for Thursdays and Sundays. The flights leave Toronto at 9:30 a.m. and arrive in Myrtle Beach at 11:35 a.m., turning around and departing at 12:20 p.m. for a 2:14 p.m. arrival back in Toronto.
Canadian airline Porter has been in service to Myrtle Beach, but it is geared to more of the executive set than the core blue-collar golfing crowd that is so dear to Myrtle Beach. WestJet serves as an affordable, sub-three-hour cure for what might otherwise be a drive of more than 16 hours.
Not only is WestJet’s arrival to Myrtle Beach a boon for those who live in and around Toronto, it brings all of Canada closer to Myrtle Beach than ever. A number of cities across Canada offer nonstop service to Toronto, meaning that folks from Halifax, Nova Scotia in the east to Vancouver, British Columbia out west can fly to Myrtle Beach in one stop through WestJet. Normally, such journeys would require two or more stops. Westjet’s game-changing new service allows even more golfers from “North of the Border” to get to Myrtle Beach to see the Grand Strand’s selection of more than 90 golf courses.
The schedule of WestJet flights for the remainder of 2013 is slated to continue until late October, initially. If demand continues to be strong through the fall, expect a swift return before too long.