sfo03.jpgTravel between San Francisco and the Big Easy just got a little bit easier.

More than five years after United Airlines suspended direct service between San Francisco and New Orleans, the airline announced its first such direct flight since Hurricane Katrina will depart this morning.

Direct service, which had been suspended immediately following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, will resume with a flight departing from New Orleans this morning that is expected to arrive in San Francisco shortly before 10 a.m.

Airport Director John Martin said that SFO staff are “extremely pleased” by the reinstatement of service to New Orleans.

“The Bay Area and New Orleans have a unique connection because of a multicultural background, a colorful history and love for wonderful cuisine,” Martin said in a statement released Wednesday.

The airport will host a celebration commemorating the new service at Gate 83 in Terminal 3 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

A return flight between San Francisco International Airport and New Orleans’ Louis B. Armstrong International Airport is scheduled to depart at 4:10 p.m.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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