CARLSBAD — New air travel options for Carlsbad residents is coming Monday.
JetSuite, based at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, will offer public charter flights starting Oct. 17 in its four-passenger Phenom 100 out of McClellan-Palomar Airport, according to CEO Alex Wilcox.
Although the company is a private charter, Wilcox said this service is a public charter. He said public seats are available at $499 each way, although expansion efforts are a long-term possibility should JetSuite gain traction in Carlsbad.
Although public charters are now available, Wilcox said the company has operated out of Carlsbad since its inception in 2009.
“We fly the lightest jet,” he added. “In April we launched something called JetSuiteX, where we are starting to sell our services by the seat.”
Alex Bell, communications officer for the county’s airports, said because JetSuite has already operated flights, no environmental reports were needed. JetSuite has operated private charters from Carlsbad for more than seven years.
“Because they are not a commercial operator, they didn’t need to go through the county processes,” Bell said.
Currently, there are no commercial options for residents out of the airport.
JetSuite, meanwhile, will fly from Carlsbad to San Jose on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Flights depart at 7:45 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. from San Jose.
The company’s service also features private jet terminals and free wireless Internet service.
“Carlsbad has been an attractive market to us for some time, obviously with the lack of air service there,” Wilcox explained. “There seems to be some demand. Eventually, we do want to get our 30-passenger planes in there.”
Before the 30-passenger flights commence, Wilcox said the push to expand depends on the demand with the public charter flights. In addition, should demand be met, the cost of the flights will decrease.
The lack of competition in Carlsbad, meanwhile, is an opportunity for JetSuite to take hold of the market, Wilcox said. Due to airline consolidation and no commercial service, JetSuite is betting on the affluent coastal communities and Rancho Santa Fe to provide a successful service to drive expansion.
“The public charter will expand up to our 30-passenger airplanes if it’s successful,” Wilcox added. “We are just dipping our toe in the water now. But there is high demand in the area to go to Phoenix, Las Vegas and maybe even Sacramento. We think there is a number of markets that could work out of Carlsbad.”
Several months ago, California Pacific Airlines CEO Ted Vallas announced the company would launch commercial service from Carlsbad. However, neither the county nor the airport, had given any approval for flights.
Vallas has been searching for investors, although there has been no movement with his application and environmental reports, Bell said.
For tickets and more information about JetSuite, visit jetsuite.com.