A new daily nonstop United Airlines line will connect Santa Barbara to Chicago this summer.
The red-eye service will run from the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport starting June 4.
Airport Business Development Manager Deanna Zachrisson said no other new lines have been confirmed, but the airport is always looking to add more.
“We’re always doing surveys, asking people what they want. Chicago and Salt Lake City have been at the top of the list. People are trying to make it as far east as possible, to airports with good connection capabilities,” said Ms. Zachrisson .
Santa Barbara airport’s runway size makes providing direct service all the way to the East Coast a challenge, she said.
The airport’s direct line, via Delta, to Salt Lake City began Aug. 12.
“Chicago (O’Hare) offers connections to the East Coast, Europe and the Caribbean. Red-eye is a great option for people because normally you would lose an entire workday to get somewhere.”
Ms. Zachrisson said the airport is also looking to add more in-state flights to the Bay Area and San Diego.
“We’re looking for opportunities in no longer drivable markets. San Diego is one that we know has interest. It’s not so easy to drive it anymore. San Francisco has long been this way,” she said.
The red-eye flights to Chicago will leave Santa Barbara at 11:20 p.m. and arrive in Chicago at 5:20 a.m. local time. Passengers will ride a 128-seat Airbus 319.
“We are honored that United Airlines has chosen SBA for new service via its Chicago hub.
Whether for business or leisure, we encourage everyone to take advantage of this service. It’s a great way to spend a full day in our beautiful city and arrive in Chicago, or on the East Coast, in the morning rather than during the evening rush hour. This nonstop flight will also shave hours off the typical routes via Denver, Los Angeles or San Francisco,” airport Director Henry Thompson said in a statement.
“We are thrilled to offer our Central California customers with nonstop service between beautiful Santa Barbara and United’s hub in Chicago. United’s new service to Chicago will connect Santa Barbara to more than 40 destinations across the Midwest and East Coast,” added United’s California President Janet Lamkin.
Beginning Nov. 13, United will offer exclusive service from Santa Barbara to Denver three to four times a day as Frontier Airlines transitions to seasonal service.