In Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, a business-led effort to reverse United Express’ plans to slash service between the Central Coast and major markets is beginning to gain altitude.
In Ventura County, the pushback has begun with a grassroots petition effort to restore several daily United Express flights between Oxnard and Los Angeles International Airport.
The petition drive is being led by Tamur Taloy, an Oxnard small business owner whose company specializes in tax filings. You can get your copy of the petition by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Among other things, the petition argues that the airport has an “Essential Air Service Community” designation and that the potential ridership figure for the Ventura County area is more than 500,000 per year. The petition also suggests that United Express has suppressed demand in Oxnard by raising fares and switching schedules so that it was exceedingly difficult for the service to succeed.
Meanwhile, in Santa Barbara County, major employers such as Citrix Online are teaming up with the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce to lobby for continued flights between San Jose and the Santa Barbara Airport.
Here again, United has kept fares high on these flights and ignored the prospects for increased service by using San Jose as a connecting point to other markets.
Smaller airports such as Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo have huge advantages for business travelers. Parking is cheaper, security is a breeze and productivity gains can be huge for business owners and professionals who don’t have to waste time driving to Los Angeles, Burbank or San Jose to catch flights.
We encourage business owners to keep pressing United and United Express to rethink their cuts and provide reasonably priced service to the region.
And we applaud Taloy and the folks at Citrix for leading the way.