A new airline could start operating in the busy California Corridor as soon as next spring, flying regional jets flying from the San Diego area to the Bay Area, and also to a few vacation destinations.
The carrier is called California Pacific Airlines (CPA). It’s been stumbling along in the planning stages for several years as the brainchild of a 96-year-old multi-millionaire named Ted Vallas, but it just took a big leap toward reality.
Vallas and his team told stockholders last week that CPA has acquired an existing small airline called SkyValue Airways, giving it the FAA certification it needs to start commercial service. SkyValue currently flies a lot of sports charters as well as a few scheduled routes from Denver to small Midwestern towns.
The new plan calls for California Pacific Airlines to base a fleet of five Embraer E145s at Carlsbad, California’s McClellan-Palomar Airport, probably starting next April, offering scheduled flights to Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.
The upstart airline has a rudimentary website at www.flyCPAir.com.
The company sees big potential from population and business growth in the region around Carlsbad, which is about halfway between Orange County and metro San Diego. It reportedly plans to reconfigure the E145s it has acquired from 50 seats to 44, and has options to buy a pair of larger E170s as well.
CPA has tried unsuccessfully for several years to get its own FAA certification, and has announced start-up plans in the past that never came to fruition. But officials seem confident that this time they can get the airline off the ground with a pre-existing certification from their acquisition of SkyValue Airways.
Does the California corridor need another airline to join the majors along with niche carriers like Blackbird, JetSuiteX and SurfAir? Do you think California Pacific is going to get off the ground this time around? Please leave your comments below.