Planes flying out of the Santa Barbara Airport may do so with the logo of a newly added airline on their wings. Horizon Air, “the Wings of the Great Northwest” now flies nonstop flights to Seattle and Portland.
Karen Ramsdell, the airport director, said she was glad to welcome Horizon Air, the addition of which has been in the workings for the past five to eight years.
“We have been trying to convince them that we are a good market for [Horizon Air]. There’s opportunity for travel and vacation close to home,” Ramsdell he said.
Pat Zachwieja, a Horizon Air representative at the announcement on Friday, said the airline offers one-way flights to Portland and Seattle for $89 and business flights – including trips that often are at on short notice – at $278. Zachwieja said flights to the same destinations on competing airlines could run about $425.
“Morning and afternoon flights are ideal for business travel,” Zachwieja noted. “People can return to their families at the end of the day.”
The traffic and demand for these destinations in Santa Barbara will also put new airplanes to use.
“The model CRJ200 seats 50 to a plane, but the newer version, the CRJ700 seats 70, is fuel efficient, quiet and perfect for medium sized markets from here to Montana, British Columbia, Calgary and Washington,” Zachwieja said.
Many people have opted for less air travel since the events of 9/11, but Ramsdell said the local airport is now faring better.
“We have had a very good recovery; this years sales are doing very well,” Ramsdell said.
Before Horizon Air, travel to Portland and Seattle from Santa Barbara required connections through LAX and the San Francisco airport, which are known to be congested hubs, Zachwieja said.
Currently, Horizon is having a promotional offer until April 10, with additional discounts being offered for buying tickets on the web at www.horizonair.com.