CARLSBAD — A new airline is taking over service from McClellan–Palomar Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, which was formerly served by United Express.
BizAir Shuttle is set to have their first flight out of Carlsbad with service to LAX June 18 at 6 a.m.
They won’t be offering as many flights a day as United did, but are looking to ramp up service as the demand increases.
Airport Manager Olivier Brackett said the demand for commercial service is high.
“We receive phone calls every day asking about commercial service to different cities,” Brackett said.
In the beginning, BizAir will have two round-trip flights to LAX a day.
United Express had seven round-trips a day but stopped service on April 6 after discontinuing the use of the Embraer 120 Brasilia turboprop planes.
In January, the Federal Aviation Administration released new rules involving pilot’s duty times, which increased the cost of operating the Brasilia turboprops and caused United to switch to an all-jet fleet.
BizAir Founder Daniel Cretsinger had hoped to have BizAir up and running by the time United left, but faced issues getting approval at LAX.
LAX is undergoing a $4.1 billion remodel. It’s the largest public works program in the history of the city.
Cretsinger said the remodel has not only made it difficult to get the airline service approved, it’s also unpleasant for passengers.
“It’s a real unfriendly user environment right now for passengers,” Cretsinger said.
The remodel is scheduled to be finished in 2019.
BizAir is adding service to Las Vegas in July and to Phoenix in August.
Cretsinger said they likely won’t be adding more cities to their route within the first year although they’re taking suggestions for the future.
He said they’re considering service to San Jose and Sacramento.
They have one 30-passenger Embraer Regional Jet and one Dornier jet.
In L.A., they’ll share a terminal with Virgin America, Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit Airlines.
Brackett said BizAir may not be the only commercial provider for long.
Airport officials are in talks with multiple interested parties who are looking to provide service at the airport.
Another airline service recently opened at the Carlsbad airport, Surf Air.
Surf Air is a membership-based “all-you-can-fly” service, which offers unlimited private flights for $1,750 a month.
Members must also pay a $1,000 initiation fee.
The airport is also home to multiple charter businesses and flight schools.