Monday, May 21 , 2018, 2:17 pm | Partly Cloudy 66º



American Airlines Begins Nonstop Service Between Santa Barbara and Dallas

City welcomes first direct flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, plans daily flights going forward

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider welcomes travelers arriving on the first direct flight from Dallas, Texas.
Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider welcomes travelers arriving on the first direct flight from Dallas, Texas.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

If Dallas, Texas, is a city you want to visit, then it might be time to book a plane ticket.

Santa Barbara County residents now have a new way to travel to the Lone Star State via American Airlines.

The company on Thursday began offering nonstop service from Santa Barbara Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Nonstop flights to the fourth largest U.S. airport have not been offered since 2009.

Hazel Johns, the Santa Barbara Airport director, said the flights are continuous and will operate daily.

Round-trip flight fares average around $450, with a travel time of more than three hours.

Johns said the direct service creates new connections for local travelers to international, Midwest and East Coast destinations. She said adding the new service will have an economic impact on businesses. 

The first direct flight from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport arrived at the Santa Barbara Airport Thursday. Click to view larger
The first direct flight from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport arrived at the Santa Barbara Airport Thursday.  (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

“It provides tourism dollars for visitors coming to Santa Barbara,” Johns said. “Increase air service is good for the community and good for living. It is going to be beneficial for the city and the community as a whole.”

Airport commissioners held a launch party with Mayor Helene Schneider and other City Council members Thursday afternoon in the airport terminal building.

They greeted and shook hands with arriving passengers from Dallas.

“This is a great expansion of service at Santa Barbara Airport and makes life easier. We hope people use it,” Schneider said. “It makes life easier and it is easy coming in and out of Santa Barbara.”

Wearing western cowboy hats, officials welcomed 69 arriving passengers to the terminal. More than 50 departing passengers traveled out of Santa Barbara on the Bombardier CRJ900 commercial aircraft. 

Departing passenger Emily Perez was heading back after a visit with friends in Santa Barbara.

The Fort Worth, Texas, native said her layover time to Santa Barbara included more than an hour in Phoenix. The college student was excited to book a nonstop ticket home. 

“The service takes a lot of travel time off,” Perez said. 

The Santa Barbara Airport offers direct flights to Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle, with a total of 21 daily departures, Johns said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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