California Pacific targeting December start-up

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California Pacific Airlines plans to begin operations in December or as late as January 2013 it says, after more than two years seeking the necessary approvals to offer commercial passenger flights.

The Carlsbad, California-based start-up carrier still needs US Federal Aviation Administration certification before it can begin operations. It received US Department of Transportation certification in August 2011.

It originally intended to begin flying in late 2010.

California Pacific has one Embraer 170LR leased from ECC Leasing, which is the manufacturer's leasing arm, in storage and letters of intent with Embraer for three additional E170s to be delivered in 2013, according to the Flightglobal Ascend database.

The airline and ECC Leasing are in negotiations for a second leased E170, sources told Flightglobal in August.

California Pacific plans flights between Palomar airport in north San Diego county and Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento and San Jose. Future destinations include Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The airline hired the investment bank Stephens to advise on an equity or debt fund raising in August, according to regulatory filings.