Chris Hastert, general manager of the Santa Maria Public Airport District, speaks to the monthly meeting of the Manufacturer's Association at the Fairpark.
Chris Hastert, general manager of the Santa Maria Public Airport District, speaks to the monthly meeting of the Manufacturer's Association at the Fairpark.
Chris Hastert, general manager of the Santa Maria Public Airport District, speaks to the monthly meeting of the Manufacturer's Association at the Fairpark.

Santa Maria Public Airport District General Manager Chris Hastert said Tuesday that lower fares, free parking, and flight service changes are making the airport more attractive to travelers.

Hastert spoke at the monthly meeting of the Manufacturer’s Association organized by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Commission. He gave an overview of the airport operations and answered questions. He noted that United Airlines has lowered fares in Santa Maria, making it competitive with fares out of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo airports.

He added that free parking at the Santa Maria airport can be a useful incentive in attracting travelers.

Earlier this year, direct service to Los Angeles was changed to direct service to San Francisco, increasing the number of flights and seats available.

Flights from San Francisco provide 25 one-stop destinations, including Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, Kansas City and Indianapolis. It also opens up service internationally to Paris, France; Chengdu, China; Frankfurt Germany and Osaka, Japan.