Frontier Airlines will suspend all flights from the Santa Barbara Airport starting in January, the company has confirmed to the Business Times.
The budget airline will continue to offer about four flights a week to Denver, its home airport, until Jan. 6, 2015, when these flights will be halted completely until late May 2015. Denver is the only connection for Frontier flyers from Santa Barbara.
The flights may continue on a seasonal basis after May of next year, Santa Barbara Airport Director Hazel Johns said, but Frontier officials said the airline has not decided if it will continue offering them.
“Frontier Airlines will be suspending service between Santa Barbara and Denver after January 6, 2015,” Todd Lehmacher, Frontier spokesman, told the Business Times in an email. “The possibility exists for a seasonal return in Summer 2015 but nothing has been finalized at this time. Customers that may be booked on impacted flights after Jan. 6 are being given full refunds.”
Santa Barbara Airport will not be experiencing any other major scheduling changes, Johns, the airport director, said. But she said Frontier Airlines has also halted its Denver flights at other California airports, such as Fresno Yosemite International Airport. The Frontier website does not list any flights between Fresno and Denver after January 2015.
In addition to leaving Fresno, Frontier is also dropping service to Bakersfield, USA Today reported on Monday, with a possibility but no guarantee of returning in summer 2015.
United Airlines is currently the only other airline that offers flights from Santa Barbara to Denver, a major hub for travelers connecting to flights to the Midwest or East Coast.
Johns said United has not decided if it will increase flights or make any other major schedule changes as a result of Frontier’s withdrawal. “I’ll be talking with United in the near future,” she said, declining to further comment.
As of press time, United could not be reached for comment.
Frontier’s route closures in Santa Barbara, Fresno and Bakersfield comes as the Denver-based airline is building up its service to other cities, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., USA Today reported.