New flights out of the Santa Maria Airport won’t be taking off now until next year.
United Airlines announced last year the addition of flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver beginning this June, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start date was pushed to Oct. 1.
Airport officials say United is continuing to make adjustments to its schedule at all airports with ongoing COVID-19 concerns and that start date has been moved once again.
“When they contacted us with a possible change to March (of next year), although disappointing, we agree that there is no possibility for a successful start in October as pre-sale tickets for October remain lower than expected across the nation,” said Chris Hastert with the Santa Maria Airport. “It is important for this new service to be successful for its long-term viability, and the current COVID-19 related reduction in travel demand doesn’t support that.”
Hastert adds that more people are now flying out of the airport compared to the last few months, but the numbers are still “far below” normal.