Santa Barbara Airbus, closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced its reopening plans just in time for the holiday season.

“Closing our doors in March was a hard decision, but one we felt necessary for the community and business,” said Samantha Onnen, general manager for Santa Barbara Airbus. “We are thrilled at the idea of reopening in time for holiday travel and cannot wait to see passengers again.”

Santa Barbara Airbus plans to reopen Nov. 16 with five daily round-trip shuttles to and from Los Angeles International Airport, Onnen said. 

United Airlines has yet to resume flights from the Santa Barbara Airport to LAX, so the reopening of Santa Barbara Airbus will provide a link to LAX that passengers have been missing.

During the closure, Santa Barbara Airbus spent months updating its cleaning and operational procedures to ensure the safest service upon reopening, Onnen said. 

It launched its #RollingResponsibly campaign in August to highlight the changes in service because of COVID-19, she added. It reduced passenger capacity to ensure that passengers will have a row to themselves if traveling alone.

Santa Barbara Airbus will utilize a sanitizing fogger on all vehicles as well as a sanitizing solution on high-touch surfaces, Onnen said. Passengers and employees will be required to wear a face mask at all times.

Vehicle filtration systems will pull fresh air from outside and filter it through the bus every three minutes to maintain adequate air circulation, she added.

“These changes and more will allow Airbus to reopen with a safe and clean service,” Onnen said.

The company has noticed a stable small increase in travel and is hopeful that the trend will allow for a successful reopening.

“We have seen TSA travel numbers slowly grow over the last month and are hopeful this is a continued growth pattern that will allow for enough demand for a successful reopen,” Onnen said.

Reservations are encouraged to guarantee a seat when traveling and can be made online or by calling 805.964.7759. The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday in October for phone or email assistance.

— Noozhawk staff writer Jade Martinez-Pogue can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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