• Joe Breitfeller

Southwest Airlines to Serve Fresno and Santa Barbara in the Heart of California

Along with service to Palm Springs, which received their first Southwest flight on November 19, 2020, the airline will add service to and from Fresno and Santa Barbara. The new services will increase Southwest’s footprint in California to 13 airports before summer 2021.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 - Courtesy Southwest Airlines

On Wednesday (December 16, 2020), Southwest Airlines announced their intention to serve Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) and Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) by the second quarter of 2021. The new airports join service to and from Palm Springs, which received their first Southwest flight on November 19, 2020. The additional services expand the carrier’s California footprint to 13 airports before summer 2021, deepening Southwest’s commitment to the Golden State. Southwest Airlines has long carried more guests to, from and within California than any other airline.

In Wednesday’s announcement, Southwest Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President, Andrew Watterson, said,

“Our arrival in the Heart of California, both on the Central Coast and in the Central Valley, will round out nearly four decades of investment in our California Customers and communities. While other airlines seem to fall in and out of love with the state, we're focused on increasing the reach of our low fares and flexible policies in places where we expect them to make a difference.”

Also commenting on today’s service announcement, Fresno Yosemite International Airport’s Director of Aviation, Kevin Meikle, added,

Southwest to Launch Service From Santa Barbara and Fresno in 2021 - Courtesy Southwest Airlines

“For years residents and businesses throughout Central California have expressed a desire for Southwest service and connectivity to their vast network of destinations and renowned customer service. Southwest will expand the Central Valley's air transportation gateway to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and we look forward to our new partnership with Southwest and their arrival in the spring.”

Further speaking on Southwest’s planned service from Santa Barbara, Mayor Cathy Murillo stated,

“We salute Southwest's bold decision to enter one of the most vibrant and beautiful regions in California, bringing visitors to our sweeping coastline to experience our mild Mediterranean climate and distinctive Spanish-influenced architecture. For our residents, our partnership with Southwest will energize the economic rebound to come in 2021.”

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has distinguished itself by offering exemplary customer service and competitive fares that include “frills” such as free checked and carry-on bags. During peak travel seasons, the airline operates more than 4,000 daily departures to 101 airports across the U.S. and 10 additional countries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, based on the number of originating passengers boarded, Southwest has been the largest U.S. domestic carrier since 2003. In 2019, the carrier’s nearly 58,000 employees carried more than 130 million passengers. In 2020, Southwest celebrated their 50th year of service and added service to Hilo, Hawaii, Cozumel, Mexico, Miami and Palm Springs. The airline is also launching seasonal service to Steamboat Springs and Montrose (Telluride) Colorado on December 19, 2020.

Source: Southwest Airlines


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