COU looking at leisure destination markets like Las Vegas and Orlando

Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe speaks at the October 19, 2022 ribbon-cutting ceremony for COU’s $23-million new terminal (file photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

A key economic development official in Columbia has had conversations with five airlines about adding leisure market destinations to Columbia Regional Airport (COU).

Regional Economic Development Incorporated (REDI) president Stacey Button says she met with the five airlines three weeks ago. She tells 939 the Eagle’s “CEO Round Table” they’re looking at ultra low-fare carriers.

“Because I think the addition of a leisure destination makes a lot of sense. American has great routes for us with Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth, and so getting some additional leisure markets makes sense,” Button says.

American currently offers daily non-stop service to both the Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth international airports.

Button says the conversations with the five low-fare airlines were great, adding that she’ll meet with them again in January. She says they’re looking at non-stop flights from COU.

“The same markets continue to bubble up by the airlines in terms of interest. You mentioned Orlando, that’s certainly one. Las Vegas, Phoenix is ​​a very strong market for us as well. Charlotte of course,” said Button.

Columbia Regional Airport’s $23-million new terminal opened at the end of October. It’s 52,000 square feet, compared to the 16,000 square foot former terminal that was built in 1968.

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