United Airlines has announced it will offer three nonstop daily flights to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport (STS) starting June 8, 2017.
The short flights are scheduled to arrive into Sonoma County Airport at 1:30 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 11:15 p.m. and depart daily at 6 a.m., 2:05 p.m., and 5:20 p.m. from STS to SFO.
Flights can be purchased starting today on www.united.com.
“United Airlines is proud to offer three daily flights between Santa Rosa and our San Francisco hub to connect people to the places and moments that matter most,” said Anthony Toth, United’s managing director of sales. “Business and leisure travelers now have conveniently timed flights to San Francisco and multiple opportunities to connect passengers to other cities throughout the Western U.S. and beyond.
The airline, which pulled out of Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in 2001, will return with their Bombardier CRJ-200 – a 50-seat jet aircraft, and not the smaller turboprops the airline relied upon back in the day.
The 40-minute flights will allow local travelers to avoid the hassle and expense of getting to SFO, where they can connect to destinations worldwide.
Even more tantalizing, United might decide interest in flying to and from Sonoma County is such that the airline might start service directly to its hub in Denver, which has been a long sought goal for local airport officials.
“If that flow is strong enough, that helps justify doing a Denver flight,” Airport Manager Jon Stout said.
With service already provided by Allegiant, Alaska and, as of Feb. 16, American Airlines, the addition of United comes as the area airport is expanding to take on additional airlines and passengers.
Alaska Airlines offers between seven and nine daily flights out of Sonoma County, depending on the season.
American Airlines debuted a daily nonstop flight to Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, marking the first direct connections from Sonoma County to a major hub east of California.
And Allegiant Airlines offers a weekly nonstop flight from Sonoma County to Las Vegas.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in September approved financing for a $20 million project that called for more than doubling the size of the terminal and the number of parking spaces at the west end of Airport Boulevard.
But Stout on Friday said he’ll return to the board with options to add an additional 9,000 square feet to current terminal expansion plans, bringing the total expansion to 43,000 square feet, or larger than the new Oliver’s Market in Windsr.
Stout said current expansion plans may not be enough to address the need for more space in baggage hold areas and for more bathrooms in passenger waiting areas.
“We’re now having times of the day when there may be three airplanes checking in at once, and that’s where we are running out of space,” Stout said.
He said going to supervisors for direction will push the start of construction on the terminal expansion back by about three months, to late this year. That also would delay the its opening to summer of 2019.
Sonoma County Supervisor David Rabbitt said he believes the airport is making the right adjustments to meet demand.
This story originally appeared on PressDemocrat.com at http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6705792-181/sonoma-county-airport-poised-to?artslide=0