After almost a decade of attempting to get the company off the ground, the first Embraer 50-passenger jet by Carlsbad-headquartered California Pacific Airlines, finally took off Nov. 2. Originally planned for Nov. 1, the inaugural flight was pushed by one day due to logistical delays.
Ted Vallas, a 97-year-old businessman, founded the company, of which he is chairman and majority owner.
With approximately 20 passengers on board, the plane departed shortly after 7 a.m. One hour and seven minutes later, the airplane was on the ground at San Jose International Airport.
At the end of the flight, Vallas' nephew Theodore Vallas, thanked the passengers on board for being on the flight and gifted "Let's Fly" hats to everyone. He also requested a round of applause for the two flight attendants on board, one of whom passed out complimentary beverages mid-flight, as well as for the two pilots.
A ribbon-cutting event took place at landing in San Jose, with local media in attendance. And, 20 minutes later, the return flight was already on its way back to San Diego.
The carrier plans service from Carlsbad to San Jose; Las Vegas; Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nevada; and Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona.