Apr 17, 2013 8:51 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News

Santa Maria flights to Hawaii may be taking a hiatus

An Allegiant Airlines representative says direct flights from the Santa Maria Airport to the Aloha State will end in August, which is right after the peak of the summer travel season.

Allegiant Airlines says flight availability all depends on demand, so after summer vacation season, there is a drop in leisure travel. As of now, there's no set date for the Saturday flights to be returned.

Flights to Honolulu took off in November of last year. Allegiant began offering one flight each way on Saturdays.

The City of Santa Maria invested in the flight addition by expanding the runway at the Santa Maria Airport to fit the larger planes that would be carrying more than 200 passengers.

Chris Hastert, with the Santa Maria Airport, says Allegiant didn't anticipate suspending the flights and says Hawaii is a seasonal destination. He also says Santa Maria is still a viable market for a direct flight to Honolulu.

A local travel agent told KSBY that the flight to Honolulu from Santa Maria is a popular one, especially since it's the only direct flight to Honolulu from the Central Coast.

"You go from Santa Barbara and you have to go to Los Angeles, but if you go from Santa Maria you can go non-stop to Honolulu, so I think they shouldn't take it away and it's a great price," said travel agent Lucy Loli. "It's a good thing. Allegiant should have more flights from Santa Maria.

Hastert says Allegiant will be increasing flights for the summer to Honolulu and Las Vegas.

Starting June 12, flights to Honolulu will be available on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

On July 10, Santa Maria will have flights to Las Vegas 5 days a week.

The last day to book a flight from Santa Maria to Honolulu is August 14.

Allegiant will also be suspending flights to Honolulu from six other cities -- Fresno, Boise, Eugene, Phoenix, Spokane, and Stockton.



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