New commercial air service began Thursday morning between LA/Palmdale Regional Airport and San Francisco. United Express will fly two roundtrips a day between Palmdale and San Francisco International Airport. “The opening of LA/Palmdale is a major step toward realizing our city’s goal of a truly regional approach to meeting the growing demand for air travel in Southern California,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who along with Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford met the passengers aboard the first flight. United was one of two airlines that bid Los Angeles World Airports for service out of Palmdale. A $900,000 federal grant plus additional funding from LAWA, the city of Palmdale and Los Angeles County guarantees monthly revenues for United if it falls short of projections. The airline, in turn, has made an 18-month commitment to stay at the airport. By supporting the new service, area residents will encourage more airline service that in turn will create jobs and economic impact for the entire region, Ledford said.