Plans For New Local Airline Moving Forward

California Pacific Airlines Will Be Based At McClellan-Palomar Airport In Carlsbad

New photos obtained by 10News offer a first look at a highly-anticipated travel option flying into the region.

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The photo shows an E-170 commuter jet. It is the first purchase for the planned California Pacific Airlines, which will be based at the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

"I want to leave a legacy," said Ted Vallas.

The man behind the vision is 91-year-old Vallas, a World War II veteran and owner of a charter airline for 17 years.

"It gives me a reason to get up every day," he said. "It's something the entire area really needs."

Right now, those flying out of the airport can fly only to Los Angeles. When California Pacific takes off, it is expected that every day four planes will fly non-stop to Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Phoenix and Las Vegas along with Cabo San Lucas. There will be three to four daily flights to each location.

"It'll be a luxury five minutes away instead of 25 to San Diego," said Scott Schumer of Encinitas. "With traffic, it can get really bad."

Luxury may not be the right word for the plane, but Vallas said the flights will boast wide seats, extra room and prices competitive to Southwest Airlines.

The first plane will be delivered in June. After the first plane arrives, there will be a Federal Aviation Administration inspection, a records review and then a month later, a test flight known as a "proving run."

The first commercial flight has been delayed from during the summer to September.

"Should we read anything into the delay?" asked 10News reporter Michael Chen.

"No," responded Vallas.

10News was told the FAA asked for more time to familiarize itself with the new plane.

When the planes eventually take flight, its owners are banking on sky-high demand. Vallas said the airline has raised $9 million locally and is on track with its fundraising.

"We're hoping this will be a strong local airline in the tradition of PSA," he said.

He is hoping to nab at least 15 percent of the passenger traffic at Lindbergh Field.

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