Friday, December 28, 2018

Pilot shortage forces California Pacific Airlines to pause service in January

Nearly two months after the first commercial flight, California Pacific Airlines announced on December 28th it is pausing service out of Carlsbad in January, according to a press release.

The release cites a nationwide shortage of pilots and the company’s recent launch has left the carrier with insufficient crews to handle its schedule. Currently, CP Air, which is based at McClellan-Palomar Airport, services San Jose, Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The company announced several weeks ago it had plans to expand to Sacramento and Denver.

CP Air’s contracted operations from Denver to South Dakota are not affected.

Founder and CEO Ted Vallas said that he is hopeful that service can be restored in “as little as two weeks,” but much depends on the pilot shortage.

 “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.”

CP Air said it expects only a temporary suspension in flights for the West Coast. As for customers, those who have already purchased tickets will automatically receive a refund. For additional questions, customers may call 855-505-9394.

Additionally, the statement said, “there is full intent to resume flights from Carlsbad as soon as pilot levels are adequate to support the daily scheduled flights.”

The company recently canceled all flights on Dec. 10 and 11 after one of its planes suffered a cracked windshield, along with icing problems, and a backup plane sustained a damaged wing when it clipped a backhoe inadvertently left on a runway in Pierre, South Dakota.

The airline, meanwhile, is the passion project of Vallas, who has been trying for the past 10 years to get the company in the air. Last year, Vallas and his investors purchased Aerodynamics, Inc., a regional airline that carried the necessary Federal Aviation Administration certifications.

The merger allowed CP Air to piggyback on those certifications and the company received approval from San Diego County in late summer to begin service from Carlsbad.

On Nov. 1, the CP Air took to the skies with its first flight. The airline’s initial service offerings were to San Jose and Reno, then added Las Vegas and Phoenix on Nov. 15.

Earlier this year, CP Air executives were excited to announce the launch of the long-awaited airline. They championed competitive prices, noting the easy access to and from the airport compared to San Diego International Airport.

CP Air recently ordered three additional airplanes, Vallas said.

Original article can be found here ➤


Tom Ibach said...

its all over but the crying

Anonymous said...

My father-in-law just had a really, really good experience with California Pacific Airlines. Just wanted to say thanks, that we can't wait until we can try this wonderful airline in 2019,
and keep up the great work!