Imperial â€“ Dignitaries of Imperial County welcomed Sea Port Airlines to the community with a ribbon cutting followed by an open reception at the Rodeway Inn Lounge, Wednesday evening.
Ray Castillo, chairman of the County Board of Supervisors spoke about Sea Portâ€™s start 30 years ago in Alaska and their steady climb to now operating in 20 communities in nine different states. He mentioned how the company had worked long and hard for the past three years to earn the contract to serve the Valley.
President of Sea Port Airlines, Robert McKinney said, â€œIt is an honor for us to be chosen as Imperial Valleyâ€™s hometown airlines. We want to become part of the fabric of the community. We feel that is incumbent on us if we are there to serve you.â€
â€œWe are a service business, that happens to be an airline. We are not here to impose our schedule on you. We are here to meet the needs of this community with our schedule. Thatâ€™s why we offer you more than one city, you can now go to either San Diego or Burbank, not just two times a day, but four times a day, and not at several hundreds of dollars, but $39 dollars,â€ McKinney told the crowd at the Imperial County Airport terminal.
To introduce itself to the community, SeaPort Airlines is offering a â€œGet Onboardâ€ introductory fare of $39 each way to both San Diego and Burbank. The fare is available for purchase now through May 31, 2013; itâ€™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.
The airlines will have an office at the terminal, with Nicol Askew from the Portland office down for a few months to train. â€œIt was an honor to be chosen to come here and train the crew. This is a great area, even though it is quite warm and it isnâ€™t even summer yet,â€ Nicole said.
Denise Smith of ICOE who travels frequently to Sacramento is excited to see the later flights back to El Centro. â€œItâ€™s always nicer to be able to get home after a day of meetings, than spending the night at a hotel, and then catching a flight the next morning.â€
At the raffle, Sea Port Airlines offered four free round trip flights to San Diego. Winners were Steve Benson, Tim Kelley, Erika Apante and Lori Marrs.