CARLSBAD — California Pacific Airlines announced on Dec. 28 it will temporarily suspend service out of McClellan-Palomar Airport in January due to a nationwide shortage of pilots, according to a recent press release.
Company officials stated the airline will use the monthlong hiatus to complete pilot training in order to resume operations out of Carlsbad.
“All air carriers are feeling the impact of the shortage in some fashion,” Chief Operating Officer Fernando Pineda said in a statement. “We have been fighting this new reality and managed to reduce the impact on our customers until recently. Steps have been identified and activated to address the shortage and restore the pilot levels at California Pacific.”
Currently, California Pacific, which is based at McClellan-Palomar Airport, services San Jose, Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The company also announced plans to expand to Sacramento and Denver.
California Pacific’s contracted operations from Denver to South Dakota will not be affected and “there is full intent to resume flights from Carlsbad as soon as pilot levels are adequate to support the daily scheduled flights,” according to the release.
As for customers, those who have already purchased tickets will automatically receive a refund. For additional questions, customers may call 855-505-9394.
Founder and CEO Ted Vallas, 97, said that he is hopeful that service can be restored in “as little as two weeks,” but much depends on the pilot shortage. Vallas also said that the company had recently ordered three additional airplanes.
Last year, Vallas and his investors purchased Aerodynamics, Inc., a certified FAA 121 Air Carrier that operates a fleet of 50-seat regional jets throughout the U.S.
California Pacific took to the skies on Nov. 1 with initial service offerings were to San Jose and Reno, followed by the addition of Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Airline executives have championed competitive prices, noting the easy access to and from the airport compared to San Diego International Airport.