The U.S. will get a new commercial airline this fall: On November 1, California Pacific Airlines will begin flying out of its base at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad to Mineta San Jose International Airport (a seven-hour drive) and Reno-Tahoe Airport (a nine-hour drive), reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Two weeks later, on November 14, the airline will kick off flights from Carlsbad to Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport (a five-hour drive).
California Pacific says it will fly to San Jose twice a day during the week, and once a day on weekends, with fares at $99 (non-refundable) or $199 (refundable) each way. To Reno-Tahoe and Las Vegas? Four and three times a week, respectively. Scheduling—and fares—will be competitive with airlines like Southwest, which flies from San Jose to San Diego International 12 times a day, with ticket prices ranging from $60 to $115 one-way. (Other major players like Alaska, American, United, and low-cost carrier Spirit also fly frequently out of San Diego.) And, just like Southwest, California Pacific will also let fliers bring two free checked bags in addition to a small carry-on.
Should CPA be able to hold its own against industry heavyweights, its next phase will be branching out to other destinations including Oakland, Sacramento, Phoenix, and Cabo San Lucas, reports The Points Guy. (California Pacific inherited a route from Denver to Pierre, South Dakota, which it will continue to fly through 2020.)
California Pacific isn’t technically a new airline—it’s more a rebrand of charter airline Aerodynamics, Inc. (also known as SkyValue Airlines), which was bought in May by 97-year-old multi-millionaire and San Diego county resident Ted Vallas. With the purchase, Vallas inherited four single-aisle Embraer ERJ-145 jets, each with 50 economy seats configured with double seats on the right side of the plane, and single seats on the left. (The planes have since been decked out in “coastal” California blue colors.) Vallas’s dream of a California-based airline isn’t a new one, either: He originally mentioned plans to begin such an airline as far back as 2009, but failed to get a FAA certification. Nearly a decade later, it seems like his dream will finally be realized.