California Pacific Airlines
|Founded||April 1, 2009|
|Commenced operations||November 1, 2018|
|Ceased operations||January 17, 2019 (reported temporary)|
|Operating bases||McClellan-Palomar Airport|
Carlsbad, California, U.S.
California Pacific Airlines (CP Air) was an American regional airline that was headquartered on the grounds of McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California. On December 28, 2018, CP Air announced they were suspending operations in California. In January 2019 the airline ceased all operations, and is currently undergoing restructuring.
Foundation and initial operations
The airline was founded in 2009 by Ted Vallas, a San Diego County businessperson from the North County area. Vallas had previously operated Air Resorts Airlines and wanted to create a San Diego County-based airline. He picked Palomar Airport as a hub, since it had moderate demand but infrequent scheduled service. Vallas invested about $14 million in seed money, with plans to raise up to $32 million more from private investment.
From 2009 to 2017, the airline struggled to achieve certification from the FAA as well as attempts to secure a fleet and routes. By February 6, 2012, California Pacific had passed Phase I of the FAA's formal Part 121 certification process, but their progress slowed due to a lack of available aircraft to lease or buy. A breakthrough eventually came at the end of 2017, when the airline purchased ADI Aerodynamics, a small Essential Air Service (EAS) carrier. This purchase gave them full FAA certification, a fleet of four Embraer ERJ 145s, and a nearly-expired EAS contract between Denver International Airport and Pierre and Watertown, South Dakota.
This article needs to be updated.July 2019)(
During 2018, the company renewed their EAS contract, gained permission from San Diego County to operate commercial services, and scheduled their first routes. The airline formally began its first commercial service in November 2018, with nonstop flights between Carlsbad and several destinations in the southwestern United States. However, there were numerous cancellations in November and December, giving the airline a bad reputation among passengers. The airline blamed the cancellations on a pilot shortage. however plans are in place to start ticket sales May–June 2019 and flights starting by end of June 2019
Closure and attempted restart
In December 2018, California Pacific Airlines announced that it was temporarily suspending its West Coast flight operations. The carrier’s EAS operations were not affected. In January 2019, the EAS operations were shut down as well, leaving South Dakota cities Pierre (the capital) and Watertown without any commercial air service. Eventually, these routes were ceded to SkyWest Airlines operating for United Express, definitively ending the former ADI routes. Employees were all put on indefinite furlough January 18; anonymous employees said that they were not paid for the last half of December or for January, and that their health insurance premiums had not been paid for three months.
On February 28, 2019, Vallas stated that he had secured private investment to restart the airline in some capacity, and that operations could resume "within 90-120 days," with plans to abandon EAS flying altogether and take on additional second-hand ERJs to help mitigate the risk of mechanical issues which plagued the airline during its initial operation.
|Phoenix||Arizona||AZA||KIWA||Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport|
|Carlsbad||California||CLD||KCRQ||McClellan–Palomar Airport (hub)|
|Sacramento||California||SMF||KSMF||Sacramento International Airport|
|San Jose||California||SJC||KSJC||San Jose International Airport|
|Denver||Colorado||DEN||KDEN||Denver International Airport|
|Las Vegas||Nevada||LAS||KLAS||McCarran International Airport|
|Reno||Nevada||RNO||KRNO||Reno–Tahoe International Airport|
|Denver||Colorado||DEN||KDEN||Denver International Airport (hub)|
|Pierre||South Dakota||PIR||KPIR||Pierre Regional Airport|
|Watertown||South Dakota||ATY||KATY||Watertown Regional Airport|
|Embraer ERJ-135||0||1||30||Delivery expected by Q3 2019|
|Embraer ERJ-145||4||2||50||4 inherited from ADI|
|Embraer ERJ-170||1||72||Subleased from 2012-2013, did not fly commercially|
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- Nick Wenzel (December 31, 2018). "California Pacific Airlines temporarily suspends flight operations". International Flight Network. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
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- "California Pacific Airlines ends service in Pierre, Watertown". KSFY. January 21, 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "California Pacific Airlines takes a nose dive". Escondido Grapevine. February 1, 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
- "California Pacific Airlines retains investment firm, plans return to skies – The Coast News Group". Retrieved 2019-03-08.
- "New routes announced by CP Air – The Coast News Group". Retrieved 2018-12-27.