A New Airline Could Start Service to Sacramento International Airport

May 4, 2022

May 4—Sacramento International Airport might be adding a new carrier to its expanding service.

Officials with the San Bernardino International Airport have applied for $1 million in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to support nonstop service to Sacramento International Airport on Breeze Airways.

San Bernardino, a busy cargo airport in the Inland Empire, will launch commercial service in August with daily nonstop service on Breeze to and from San Francisco. The recent funding application, with the FAA's Small Community Air Service Development Program, would fund marketing and revenue guarantees for flights to SMF on Breeze.

"Sacramento is a strong market for the Inland Empire and we think it's a great fit," said Mark Gibbs, director of aviation for the San Bernardino airport. "We know the community down here needs more travel options, including to Sacramento."

Gibbs said an analysis of passenger travel patterns showed about 750 people from the Inland Empire fly each day to Sacramento. For now, most of those travelers fly out of Ontario or Los Angeles.

The San Bernardino airport is about 2 miles east of the city's downtown and 25 miles east of Ontario in the sprawling Inland Empire. With a population of more than 4.6 million, the region is "the most underserved market in the country" for air service, Gibbs said.

Gareth Edmondson-Jones, a spokesman for Breeze, said the airlines doesn't comment on "any possible routes until they are announced." However, he added "as a young airline less than a year old, with 80 brand new Airbus A220s on order, we are looking at airports across the county, including Sacramento."

Sacramento International Airport officials have not discussed new routes with Breeze, but are "always open to welcoming any new airlines interested in serving SMF, including Breeze," airport spokesman Scott Johnston said.

Breeze Airways started operations in May 2021 and was founded by David Neeleman, the co-founder of JetBlue. The airline focuses largely on secondary markets, including Hartford, Conn., Charleston, S.C., and Norfolk, Va.

Passenger travel in and out of Sacramento International Airport was up roughly 60% in March compared to last year, according to county airport data, and has nearly rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

Southwest Airlines recently announced it would start nonstop service between Sacramento and Santa Barbara beginning June 5.


(c)2022 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

Visit The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) at www.sacbee.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.