Southwest Airlines to begin service to Santa Barbara, Fresno airports in 2021

California
A Southwest Airlines Co. employee walks underneath the tail of a Boeing Co. 737 aircraft on the tarmac at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, California, U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2016. (Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A Southwest Airlines Co. employee walks underneath the tail of a Boeing Co. 737 aircraft on the tarmac at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, California, U.S., on Thursday, April 14, 2016. (Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Southwest Airlines plans to begin serving Santa Barbara Airport and Fresno Yosemite International Airport next year.

The airline said Wednesday it expects to begin flying in and out of the Central Coast and Central Valley airports in the second quarter of 2021.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. flew its first flight into Palm Springs last month, and the addition of Santa Barbara and Fresno will give the airline a presence at 13 California airports.

“For our residents, our partnership with Southwest will energize the economic rebound to come in 2021,” Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo said in a statement.

Fresno’s aviation director, Kevin Meikle, said the service will expand the aiport’s role as a gateway to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks.

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