Horizon Air has announced that it will begin nonstop jet service from Santa Barbara to Sacramento twice daily starting Nov. 9, Santa Barbara Airport officials said.

One of those flights will continue to Portland, maintaining Santa Barbara’s connection to the Rose City. Horizon is a highly recognized regional airline that has provided service between Santa Barbara and the Pacific Northwest since 2003. 

When ExpressJet decided in July to fold its airline because of economic constraints, it meant the loss of local Sacramento service at Santa Barbara effective this month. SBA began efforts to attract another airline upon learning the ExpressJet news. One effective endeavor was organizing a letter-writing campaign since so many business fliers had expressed their concern about the Sacramento service.

“This is a challenging time to develop new air service, and we feel fortunate to have expanded Horizon flights at SBA,” airport Director Karen Ramsdell said. “The letters of support from community leaders representing all sectors of local business made an important difference in encouraging new nonstop service to Sacramento.”

While the Sacramento nonstop flights provide much needed service for frequent fliers on business, the route is also flown by pleasure travelers visiting the Capitol and by passengers wishing to visit the Reno-Tahoe area. The new Horizon Air service will enhance connectivity between the South Coast and the state Capitol for business, leisure and family travel.

“We’re pleased to offer this new direct connection, linking the business people of Santa Barbara to their elected officials and state associations as well as leisure travelers in both cities,” said Dan Russo, vice president of marketing and communications at Horizon. “Instead of spending hours on the roads or flying north or south to make a connection in a big, busy airport, Santa Barbara residents can now fly directly to Sacramento, put in a good day’s work and be home in time to sleep in their own beds.”

The two nonstop flights will operate daily Monday through Friday. Horizon will offer one daily flight on Saturday and Sunday. One of the flights will continue to Portland Sunday through Friday. In addition to the new flights, Horizon will continue to operate its daily flight to Seattle. All flights out of Santa Barbara are operated in the 70-seat CRJ-700 aircraft.

Terri Gibson is the marketing and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Airport.