Staff Report

Alaska Airlines has begun direct-flight service on Boeing 737 jets from Santa Barbara Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Since Aug. 27, the flight have departed daily from Santa Barbara at 3:35 p.m. with fares in September that started at $114 each way. The Seattle route marks the first time Alaska has served SBA with a Boeing aircraft since the carrier began service in 2003.

To mark the occasion, SBA has launched a promotion with Alaska Airlines offering two free round-trip tickets to Santa Barbara residents.

“Within a few short hours, Santa Barbara residents can pop over to the Pacific Northwest’s Emerald City,” said airport spokeswoman Deanna Zachrisson.

“Fall is a wonderful time to explore Seattle’s changing seasons, dynamic food culture, abundance of outdoor activities and local hot spots like the Pike Place Market,” she said.

The increased load capacity offered by Alaska Airlines continues a trajectory that started in July 2016 with the addition of Airbus 319 service to Dallas on American Airlines, and this summer when United Airlines added the Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft on departures to San Francisco and Denver — the first “mainline” aircraft to serve SBA by United since 2001.

“The passenger demand is here in Santa Barbara and our carriers are recognizing the truly different departure experience we offer compared to larger airports,” Zachrisson said.

“Not only is SBA one of the easiest and most convenient outbound airports in the region, we continue to build upon capacity, travel and pricing options for local residents,” she said.

Santa Barbara Airport is on track to increase passenger capacity in 2017 by more than 10 percent over a banner year in 2016, she added.