CARLSBAD — What started off with an ominous sign has now become a company-wide problem.
California Pacific Airlines, which began service out of Palomar-McClellan Airport in Carlsbad on Nov. 1, was forced to cancel or delay all flights on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11.
“We sincerely apologize for the recent mechanical issues that have caused several cancellations and delays,” CP Air said in a statement posted to its Facebook page.
CP Air stated that they would return to regular service on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
“Your safety is our priority, and we are working to resolve all issues as soon as possible so we can get you back in the air,” the statement said.
One of the wings on a 50-seat passenger jet was damaged during taxiing on the runway for an Oct. 26 flight from Pierre, South Dakota, to Denver, according to the Capital Journal in Pierre. The accident took the jet out of service longer than expected after the wing clipped a backhoe conducting construction work on a new hangar, the paper reported.
CP Air bought Aerodynamics Inc. (ADI) so the airline would have the necessary certifications to operate. As a result, the company has passenger and charter operations including a regular flight from Denver to Pierre.
However, CP Air Chief Operations Officer Mickey Bowman told the Capital Journal the company’s four-jet fleet is not the issue, it’s a lack of pilots due to increased training requirements.
In addition, CP Air eliminated its charter business to focus on commercial service, according to the paper.
On Thanksgiving, passengers were left stranded in Pierre for more than 10 hours and left to find other accommodations to reach Denver.
“This airline has one of the nicest staff we have seen, however an 11 hour delay in Pierre on Thanksgiving and the plane having multiple issues on the way back caused us to have to change to another airline to get home,” Elayna Bierle posted on her Facebook page. “We won’t be back until they figure out how to update their fleet of planes that are more safe and reliable.”
Additionally, customers flying out of Carlsbad have also have experienced delays or cancellations.
“My wife and I showed up to check-in for our flight to Reno on 12/7 (Dec. 7) and was greeted by a ticket agent to tell us our flight had been cancelled due to mechanical problems as we took luggage from our ride,” Carlsbad resident Jim Daniels posted. “They knew this the night before and we didn’t get a call before we left home. Oh, we got a call, they left a message at 9:18 a.m. for a flight that was suppose to leave at 10:30 a.m. We were going to Reno to see our grandson graduate from the University of Nevada on 12/8 (Dec. 8).”
Disclaimer: The Coast News owner Jim Kydd is an investor with CP Air.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.