SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Airport is adding another major service route.
Allegiant Airlines announced on Tuesday that it would be adding a nonstop between the Santa Maria Airport and Portland International Airport.
The budget airline says the flights will be taking off beginning April 15 with fares starting at $49 each way.
"We're really excited to be one of the first three markets flying to that destination for them," Santa Maria Airport General Manager Chris Hastert said. "It really shows their commitment to our community as well with now three non-stop destinations on that airline, Allegiant Airlines."
Allegiant sees the City of Roses as an avenue to outdoor recreation aimed at pandemic travelers looking for a quick and easy getaway.
The Portland, Oregon flight is part of new expanded routes Allegiant announced. Allegiant is also adding flights to Key West, Florida, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, although neither of those flights will be available from Santa Maria.
With people beginning to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus, Hastert thinks the Santa Maria Airport is poised to make a comeback in 2021.
"The leisure market we anticipate picking up first before the business industry does," Hastert said. "There's not a lot of conferences scheduled yet for the business community. But that's who Allegiant caters to is the leisure traveler, so I think it's a good start. Then in June, adding flights with United for business as well."
United has nixed plans for a Los Angeles flight for now, but they are still set to offer flights to Denver and San Francisco from Santa Maria beginning June 4th, 2021.
Those destinations were first announced in January of 2020, but they never got off the ground once the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Santa Maria Airport has seen steady growth in flight offerings over the last year. In November, the airport added a flight to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport also through Allegiant. The airport also offers service to Las Vegas through Allegiant.