SeaPort Airlines announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to change the service pattern at El Centro/Imperial, CA (Imperial County Airport). SeaPort will begin service to the Imperial Valley on May 1, 2013, and will now offer service to both Burbank, CA (Bob Hope Airport) and San Diego, CA (San Diego International Airport).
On January 2, 2013, the USDOT selected SeaPort to operate 29 nonstop roundtrips per week between Imperial County Airport and San Diego, CA. Elected officials, business leaders, and residents of the valley, however, voiced their desire for continued access to the Los Angeles area. SeaPort executives communicated with various elected bodies in the valley and developed a plan to offer 24 nonstop roundtrips per week at Imperial County Airport – 12 to San Diego and 12 to Burbank. The proposal was officially approved by USDOT on April 8, 2013.
While the total number of weekly roundtrips is lower than previously awarded (24 v 29), the greater flight time to Burbank compared to San Diego means that SeaPort’s planes will actually spend more time in the air. Despite this, the carrier did not request an increase in subsidy from USDOT. Additionally, the 24 weekly departures will represent a 100% increase over the 12 weekly departures that United Express currently provides from Imperial County Airport.
“SeaPort Airlines is very appreciative of the Department’s approval and pleased that we’ll be able to provide Imperial Valley customers with service to both San Diego and Burbank,” said Rob McKinney, President of SeaPort Airlines. “The change in service pattern was made in direct response to community concerns and this is indicative of the type partnership that the Imperial Valley can expect with SeaPort Airlines.”
At San Diego, SeaPort’s flights will operate from the commuter terminal. For customers making connections to other airlines, a free shuttle operates every 10-15 minutes to and from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. A total of 17 airlines offer an average of 250 daily departures to approximately 50 nonstop destinations, including recently inaugurated nonstop service to Tokyo.
At Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport, SeaPort’s flights will operate from Terminal A. Bob Hope Airport is 30 minutes to downtown Los Angeles compared to 40 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport. It’s the closest airport to many popular destinations in the Los Angeles area, including Universal Studios, Warner Brothers Studios, Dodger Stadium, Getty Center, and Griffith Park. Ten Amtrak and 29 Metrolink trains stop at the Bob Hope Airport station every day, providing service to Downtown Burbank, Glendale and Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. The airport also offers free shuttle service to the Downtown Burbank Station, where connections to the North Hollywood Red Line Station provide easy access to Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles.
To introduce itself to the community, SeaPort Airlines is offering a “Get Onboard” introductory fare of $39 each way to both San Diego and Burbank. The fare is available for purchase now through May 31, 2013; it’s valid on every seat and every flight through June 30, 2013. The fare includes all taxes and fees, and is non-refundable and non-changeable once purchased. For passengers needing flexibility to change their travel plans, SeaPort offers fares ranging from $49 to $109 each way, including all taxes and fees, subject to advance purchase requirements and availability. Passengers may book reservations now on www.SeaPortAirlines.com or by calling 888-573-2767.