Santa Barbara Municipal Airport will begin nonstop red-eye flights to Chicago starting in June 2020, city officials announced Monday.
Beginning June 4, United Airlines will offer daily flights that leave from the Santa Barbara airport at 11:20 p.m. and arrive at Chicago O’Hare International Airport at 5:20 a.m.
The direct flights from Chicago to Santa Barbara are scheduled to depart at 7:45 p.m. and arrive at 10:30 p.m.
Flights will be flown with 128-seat Airbus 319 aircraft.
The new service will be convenient and time-efficient for travelers going to the Midwest with connections to more than a hundred domestic and international destinations, according to airport officials.
“We are honored that United Airlines has chosen SBA for new service via its Chicago hub,” airport Director Henry Thompson said in a statement. “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,” he continued. “This nonstop flight will also shave hours off the typical routes via Denver, Los Angeles or San Francisco.”
The service to Chicago is “important for our tourism industry,” said Kathy Janega-Dykes, Visit Santa Barbara president/CEO, in a statement.
Starting Nov. 13, United will operate service from SBA to Denver, Colorado, three to four times a day because Frontier Airlines is transitioning to seasonal service.
Santa Barbara Airport, at 500 James Fowler Road, currently offers direct flights to Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle.
SBA is expected to serve nearly one million passengers in 2019, according to city officials.