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After literally years of waiting and setbacks, California Pacific Airlines is finally set to start offering service between cities in the western U.S. The Carlsbad, California-based airline will offer service to a select number of destinations in the Western U.S.
The location in northern San Diego county is a good pick, in my opinion. San Diego’s current airport is over-taxed, and is the “busiest single runway in the nation” (the global honor goes to London Gatwick). It is convenient for those near downtown SD, but the heavy traffic plus white-knuckle approach pilots have to typically make means that San Diego really needs to look beyond Lindbergh Field. San Diego County boasts a population of over 3 million, making it the fifth most populous in the United States. Yet the SD taxpayers voted against the construction of a new airport away from the city center.
Hopefully California Pacific Airways will be a success and can alleviate some of the travel pressure, at least on regional hops.
California Pacific airways routes and schedule
After years of planned launches and subsequent delays and roadblocks, it actually looks like the California Pacific launch is happening. The flight inventory has been loaded into their website, and you can book flights. I’ve not seen the airline loaded into Google Flights, however (Carlsbad airport isn’t even available). California Pacific’s IATA airline designation is 4A.
The first California Pacific Airlines flights take off from McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad on November 1, 2018. The schedule for their routes is the following:
- Carlsbad to San Jose, twice daily
- Carlsbad to Reno, four times weekly
Additional flights will take off on November 15, including:
- Carlsbad to Las Vegas, three times weekly
- Carlsbad to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway (AZA), daily (excluding Sunday)
All routes will be operated by Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets. The cheapest fares are between San Jose and Carlsbad, starting at $99 one-way.
One interesting thing to note is that California Pacific Airlines allows you up to two free checked bags, plus a “gate checked” bag, which I assume can be a normal sized carry-on that will not fit in the overhead bins of the aircraft. You can check out their travel info page for additional details.
California Pacific Airlines also currently operates essential air service (EAS) routes between Denver and two cities in South Dakota: Pierre and Watertown. They picked up that Federal contract earlier this year and will be serving these routes through 2020, assuming their new operations out in California can get off the ground.
I’m really not sure how well a new regional airline is going to do in the current market. I sure hope they make it. With so much consolidation in the industry over the past several years, having a new airline take flight is definitely a breath of fresh air, even if it is just for regional flights.
It would be fun to be on one of the first flights on November 1 or 2, but I don’t think I can swing it. Anyone else interested in taking to the skies with California Pacific Airlines?
Photo courtesy and copyright of California Pacific Airlines, approved for media usage.
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2 free checked bags plus a gate checked carry on? Using e145’s, there is no way they will be able to handle all that luggage…. Weight restriction flags all over the place
That crossed my mind…we will see if policy changes or fees are added.
This has been years in the making! We lived in Carlsbad and flew to Phoenix quite often on America West/US Airways. When they dropped the route, we looked forward to the start-up of California Pacific – they even had counter space set up already in the new Carlsbad terminal. We no longer live near but may try to arrange a trip through just for old times sake.
Saw this on wikipedia–McClellan–Palomar Airport is a public airport three miles southeast of Carlsbad in San Diego County, California. It is owned by the County of San Diego. The airport is used for both general aviation and commercial aviation. In March 2013 the airport was the fourth-busiest single runway airport in the United States.
So not sure there would be room for expansion at that location although I know nothing about single runway airports, or any airports for that matter.
I find that hard to believe unless there is a ridiculous amount of private air traffic. Typically, “busy-ness” is measured by passenger traffic, and Carlsbad wouldn’t even rank. Must be some other metric.
Well it is wikipedia. Haha.
There IS a ridiculous amount of private air traffic! We lived a mile from the airport and my recollection is that planes took off from 6 am to 11 pm. United had several daily flights to LAX from there. Carlsbad is an affluent area and many private planes and small jets are based there. My boss had two small planes and was looking for a jet!
Very welcome addition, and hope the travelling public supports it – and that they can find enough pilots…