Sacramento lovers of ornate Spanish missions and families of UC Santa Barbara students are about to get a long-held wish:
Contour Airlines, a national low-cost carrier, announced Thursday it will launch direct flights between the capital city and stately Santa Barbara this spring. The flights, which will be on 30-seat jets, are expected to be daily or six days a week, Sacramento International Airport officials said.
The typical trip by car to Santa Barbara takes six hours. The Contour flights will take about 1 hour, 20 minutes of travel time.
“This new route is a great opportunity for us to restore service to an important intra-California market that has gone unserved since August 2010,” said Cindy Nichol, Sacramento airports director. “This convenient nonstop service will appeal to business and leisure travelers alike and a great option for quick getaways to the central coast.”
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Flights will begin April 16, according to the carrier. Tennessee-based Contour also will increase flights from Santa Barbara to Oakland and Las Vegas in May.
Initial fares will be $99 each way.
Horizon Air last flew between Sacramento and Santa Barbara, but stopped in 2010.