First-ever scheduled passenger flights soon taking off from San Bernardino airport

The first flight is scheduled for Aug. 4.
SAN BERNARDINO (KABC) -- For years, the terminal at the San Bernardino International Airport has sat empty, but perhaps not for long.

As part of a major expansion for the startup airline Breeze Airways, later this summer, there will be nonstop flights offered to San Francisco, starting at $49 each way.

"So many of the big airlines have forgotten, or ignored, communities around the country," said Breeze Airways spokesperson Eric Fletcher. "There are phenomenal communities and phenomenal airports that do not have sufficient air service that the population warrants."

Breeze Airways will also be offering flights out of the Los Angeles International Airport.

As far as the service in San Bernardino, the first flight is scheduled for Aug. 4. While there will only be one scheduled departure each day, airport officials say there's room for growth.

"What you're standing in is a terminal that will ultimately handle 10 gates," said San Bernardino International Airport CEO Mike Burrows during an interview with Eyewitness News inside the airport terminal. "There are four [gates] to start, which is plenty to support our new partners at Breeze."

For decades, the property was home to the thriving Norton Air Force Base. But when that facility closed in 1994, some economists estimate it cost the region approximately 20,000 jobs. The airport came back to life in the early 2000s and is now a major hub for logistics and cargo flights.

But very soon, passengers will be able to scheduled flights out of town.

"This has always been a military base, so it never really had this opportunity to explore as a passenger terminal," said Colton City Councilman Isaac Suchil. "This is a big first."

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