San Diego and Sacramento natives may find faster travel for Thanksgiving this year, as a result of two recent flight additions announced by Santa Barbara Airport yesterday.
According to the SBA website, the airport has already begun selling ExpressJet Airlines tickets for its two newest in-state destinations. Previously, SBA only offered flights to and from San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose. Airport Operations Manager Tracy Lincoln said the additions of San Diego and Sacramento are a welcome improvement for many Santa Barbara residents.
“We got a lot of requests for San Diego and Sacramento,” he said.
According to a press release from ExpressJet, the airline is expected to begin flying in and out of Santa Barbara on Nov. 11 – just in time for winter holiday travel.
ExpressJet President and CEO Jim Ream said in a press release that Santa Barbara is a perfect market for the airline. He also said ExpressJet will improve airport service in the area by saving customers’ time
The airline plans to hire 10 to 15 employees to work at SBA and to invest more than $300,000 in equipment, Ream said.
Lincoln said he believes the new services will become popular among residents because flying to San Diego and Sacramento is often quicker and easier than driving.
“If you’re driving to San Diego from here, there’s no way to avoid L.A., and that’s a pain,” Lincoln said. “I think [ExpressJet] has done their homework. As soon as [word] gets out, I’m sure a lot of people will want get on those planes,” he said.
According to the press release, ExpressJet typically uses Embraer 145 aircrafts that have about 50 seats each. The company is one of the nation’s largest regional airlines and, with the addition of service in Santa Barbara, it now provides 26 nonstop flights.