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New Airline Coming to Carlsbad

California Pacific Airlines plans to fly out of Palomar Airport beginning in early 2012 with no baggage fees and no middle seats.

For North County residents, flying out of the San Diego Airport means tacking on an extra 45-minute drive, paying for parking and, most likely, taking the parking shuttle. Just getting to the airport takes over an hour, not to mention the wait to go through security to finally arrive at your gate.

Flying out of would be so much easier, but right now, the destinations are limited. Starting early next year, California Pacific Airlines will fly from Carlsbad to San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. Two additional destinations, Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City, will be added later in the year. “The timeline is dependent upon approval of our application for commercial service by the DOT [Department of Transportation] and FAA,” explains Ted Vallas, president and CEO of California Pacific Airlines.

We asked Vallas a few more questions:

Will the flights be comparable in cost to flying out of San Diego airport?

“Our fares will be competitive with other carriers that fly to our planned destinations. A couple of points need to be made. We will not market ourselves as a low-cost airline. Our value proposition is based on the convenience of Palomar and the comfort of the flying experience. Part of the value for our customers will be nonfare costs saved (parking, travel costs to Lindbergh) and time savings given the convenience and proximity of the airport in Carlsbad.”

I love that you are doing no middle seats and no extra baggage fees. Why did you do that?

“The aircraft that we selected is designed with 2x2 seating, no middle seat. That was part of our decision criteria with the goal of making the travel experience as comfortable as possible. In addition, we are planning to have a first-class section and pre-assigned seating. We want travel to be like it used to be: simple, predictable and comfortable. We don’t like the add-on fees. We want our customers to know exactly what they are paying for.”

What else do you want to tell Carlsbad residents?

“This applies to residents of Carlsbad and to those in surrounding cities. ... California Pacific Airlines is anxious to serve this community and wants the community to embrace it as its own. Our employees will live here, work here and be an active part of this community.” 

Shannon Pearson May 12, 2011 at 06:42 PM
We need this. Even though I know it will make more airport noise which I am not looking forward to (for my neighborhood) I don't mind for the convenience of flying out of Palomar. I have used this airport in the past as much as I could, but look forward to being able to use it more with additional destinations.
Erin Thomas May 13, 2011 at 03:03 AM
This is great news! I've been hearing about this for years ... can't wait for it to be a reality!
Bonnie Packard May 13, 2011 at 05:56 AM
I am very glad this is coming to Carlsbad. Any way you could start sooner?
Marsha Wachler May 13, 2011 at 06:19 AM
I wish your Air Line would fly to LAX (Los Angeles)
A. Local May 14, 2011 at 04:03 AM
"Pending approval" Man, if I had a nickel for every time I read this phrase about this airine or proposed service! Don't get me wrong, nothing would make me happier! I fly 80,000 miles per year and they all originate from Carlsbad. But, please, give more information on the aproval process and time line! BTW: Marsha, Marsha, Marsha...United Express already flys that route from Palomar. Why would an upstart try to compete with that?

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