California Pacific eyes five Embraer fleet

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Start-up carrier California Pacific Airlines plans to operate a five Embraer E-Jet fleet in the medium terM, according to a source.

The carrier received its first E-170LR last month under an operating lease agreement with ECC Leasing and is close to agreeing terms on a second aircraft.

Based at Carlsbad Palomar airport in north San Diego County, California, California Pacific plans to start operations in the fall. It previously told US regulators its plans include operating roughly 10 E-170s by 2015.

During its first year of operations the airline aims to offer flights to three cities in California (Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento), a service to Phoenix, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, California Pacific plans to offer transborder flights to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, subject to regulatory approval.

Skywest Airlines, operating as United Express, is the only regularly-scheduled commercial airline flying out of Palomar, offering only flights to Los Angeles, with an Embraer 120 Brasilia fleet.

The start-up carrier is backed by founder and chairman Ted Vallas who has invested $7 million.