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Record number of airline passengers expected this summer; Santa Barbara Airport adds flights

Posted: 6:06 PM, May 21, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-21 21:06:22-04

The nation’s airports will be a lot more crowded this summer.

U.S. airlines are expected to fly a record number of passengers between June and the end of August.

An estimated 257 million passengers overall are expected to fly this summer. That breaks down to about 2.8 million passengers per day, up 3.4% from last year.

According to Airlines for America, this will be the 10th consecutive summer to see an increase in the number of airline passengers.

They say it’s due in part to a strong economy and job market.

With seats in high demand, airlines are scrambling to keep up as Boeing’s 737 Max planes remain grounded. However, airlines are adding more than 100,000 seats per day to accommodate summer passengers.

At the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA), that means additional flights.

Starting Wednesday, May 22, Sun Country Airlines will resume its seasonal direct service to Minneapolis.

Due to the popularity of the route last year, the Minneapolis-based airline is doubling its number of weekly direct flights to four midday arrivals and departures through August.

Passenger traffic at SBA has grown nearly 20% in the first four months this year, according to airport officials.

Delta Air Lines will join the list of airlines at the airport on August 13 with three times daily service to Salt Lake City.

Airport officials say during peak travel times, terminal parking has filled to capacity. As a result, SBA will be re-opening its long-term parking lot located at Hollister Ave. and Lopez Rd. on Wednesday, May 22.

Travelers headed to the Santa Barbara Airport are also warned that they may experience minor delays as a re-paving project is underway to repair roads near the airport. The work is expected to be complete by June 13.