Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Horizon Air to continue service to Sacramento

BY COLBY FRAZIER
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER

A week after ExpressJet discontinued service from Santa Barbara Airport to Sacramento, airport officials on Monday announced Horizon Air would pick up the slack, offering two non-stop flights to the state capital per day.
In a prepared statement, airport officials said service to Sacramento for business, leisure and family travel is in high demand, and the fresh Horizon flights, which are scheduled to begin Nov. 9, are a welcome announcement.


“This is a challenging time to develop new air service and we feel fortunate to have expanded Horizon flights at SBA,” said Karen Ramsdell, the airport’s director.
After ExpressJet announced it was going out of business in July, Airport spokeswoman Terri Gibson said many businesses and individuals who rely on the service, including UC Santa Barbara and Assemblyman Pedro Nava, sent letters to Horizon expressing their desire for continued flights.
Nava felt so strongly about the non-stop flights he organized the Santa Barbara to Sacramento Flight Task Force that was comprised of city, county and state elected officials.
“I am very pleased that Horizon Air has chosen to begin serving the Santa Barbara to Sacramento market with airline service,” Nava said in a statement. “It is clear that there is a strong demand for serving this market.”
Gibson said ExpressJet occupancy statistics show the flights were booked at 82 percent in July and 80 percent in August.
The popularity of the flights increase over the winter, she said, when locals take trips to the Reno, Tahoe area.
ExpressJet began operating out of Santa Barbara Airport in November of 2007. Prior to the airline’s arrival, Gibson said it had been 10 years since non-stop service between the two cities was offered.
Horizon first began flying out of Santa Barbara in 2003 and primarily offers service to the Pacific Northwest.
The new flight schedule to Sacramento will thwart Horizon’s current non-stop service to Portland, Ore. The once daily flight to that city will now have to stop-off in Sacramento.
The two non-stop flights will operate five days per week, with one flight on Saturday and Sunday.


1 comment:

ET said...

Excellent for Sacto travelers, not so for the once-upon-a-time Portland non-stoppers