Delta Airlines returns to Santa Barbara with Salt Lake City connection

228 seats a day now added from the local airport

Delta Airlines has resumed service in Santa Barbara with three flights daily to Salt Lake City.  (John Palminteri /

After ten years, Delta Airlines has reconnected with Santa Barbara offering round-trip service to Salt Lake City.

"This has been wonderful, I couldn't be more grateful," said Joan Scanlon who flies in to see her daughter.

Her husband John recalls Delta leaving ten years ago, and the letter he wrote. " I didn't understand," said John.  "Twice a day there are flights and they were full."     He was told back then it was a business decision.

Delta landed a 76 passenger plane about noon.
Santa Barbara Airport welcomed the first plane with two fire engines firing off water over the jet as it turned into the gate.

Times have changed since the last time Delta was here.  The demand is up significantly.

" Delta is coming back in  a big way," said Airport Director Henry Thompson.   "Generally you will see an airlines enter a market with one or two flights a day, so three says a lot."

Those arriving received gift bags and a greeting from both city  and airport leaders.
They also gave some feedback.

Steve Hill is a frequent Delta flyer and said it was "fantastic.  We are tired of flying to Burbank we are so excited to fly directly to Santa Barbara now."   He is loyal to Delta for its services and rewards program.

At a cake cutting ceremony, Delta Communications Director Elizabeth Wolf said,  "it marks Santa Barbara as the 330th destination in Delta's global network and it makes it the 13th city we serve with our airline in the State of California."

Delta is using the  76 seat Embraer aircraft  for this flight.   It has 12 First-Class seats.

Overall it adds the potential for a significant jump in business at the airport locally and from Ventura County and the Santa Maria - San Luis Obispo area.    

There are now 228 more seats available at the airport every day than there were  last week.

Over the last two years,  the Santa Barbara Airport has added new service with Sun Country, Frontier, Contour and now Delta.    

Airport officials are watching the impacts on parking very carefully and are working on handling the new load proactively.

They are also expecting 2019 to be a record year for travelors out of the terminal.


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