A group of businesses and local organizations in Goleta, California, north of Santa Barbara, are looking to rally more businesses to join in their effort to spur new, direct flight support to San Jose, California, after a loss of the service in February. In an effort supported by the Goleta Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Barbara Airport and local technology firm Citrix Online, the groups said they're trying to reach out to local businesses to try to address the issue in a forum later this month. The group said that many local organizations are concerned that the loss will hurt their business and prospects for long-term growth, and that they're hoping to find a way to attract interest in a replacement for direct Santa Barbara (SBA) to San Jose (SJC) flights.
In February, SkyWest Airlines told officials at the Santa Barbara Airport that they would be discontinuing direct flights to San Jose in June, due to lack of demand. SkyWest had been providing service after United pulled out of the market several years ago.
"The direct route to Silicon Valley is important to the Santa Barbara region's competitiveness," said Laura McCormick, a VP at Citrix Online, noting that the issue is "especially important" for the technology sector, which relies on dealings in the Valley for connections to headquarters, manufacturing, investment and talent. McCormick said in an interview with socalTECH that the groups hope that by rallying the business community, they might be able to provide a business case to the airport to get some level of direct service reinstated in Santa Barbara. Currently, businesses in the Santa Barbara area either have to fly to San Francisco--non-ideal for firms who still have to travel by car to the San Jose area--or are routed through San Francisco or LAX for connections to SJC.