CARLSBAD — If you ask a group of children what they want to be when they grow up, you’ll likely have a handful of future pilots in your midst.
While that dream gives way to reality for many, local entrepreneur Ted Vallas has an offer for local grownups that just might appeal to those still holding on to aviation aspirations — as well as anyone else looking to be a part of the future of local air travel.
Vallas is the owner of California Pacific Airlines, which will be operating out of McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. While CP Air was ready to take off out of the Carlsbad airport in 2011, issues with the FAA’s operating budget grounded those plans. Vallas said that the FAA and Department of Transportation have been very cooperative. Now that the timing is right, Vallas is looking to community investors to raise $5 million over the next three months to take his North County airline to the sky.
Vallas knows a thing or two about local and international business, and the airline industry as well. He spent 19 years as the sole owner of a flag and domestic airline that operated primarily from Lindbergh Field.
Vallas said he has run more than 40 businesses in his 95 years following a stint with the Navy. Included in his varied career is the manufacturing and remanufacturing of aircraft. He was also the developer of many local landmarks, including what is now known as Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe.
Vallas’ resume and track record are impressive to say the least, and together with the growing need for a North County airline, investing in CP Air is a timely and unique opportunity.
Phase 1 of Vallas’ plan for CP Air includes service to seven cities — San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Tucson and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. To maximize passenger comfort, CP Air will fly EJ 145 jets that have been modified from 50 seats to 40 seats as well as EJ 170 jets that have been modified from 80 seats to 70 seats. When the second phase rolls out it will include service to St. Louis and down into the Texas area.
“Because of the demographics of the area, we have 1.3 million in North County alone, and a catchment area in excess of 3 million, who we can service who will not have to travel to San Diego, Orange County or Los Angeles,” Vallas said. He pointed out that this is a savings in time and in dollars. “It gets people off of the freeways,” he said.
Additionally, CP Air will bring an estimated 150 jobs to North County in its first year, which could multiply to 1,000 local jobs by year four.
Vallas wants CP Air to remain a North County airline in every way, including its ownership. “At present time I own 92 percent of the company,” he said. “I have about $15 million of my family’s and my own money invested. And now we’ve been authorized by the SEC to sell stock locally, and we’d like to keep it a definite low number of investors, primarily in North County.”
By FCC laws, and under the Jumpstart Our Business (JOBS) Act, investors to CP Air must be considered “sophisticated,” meaning they have to have at least $1 million net worth (not including their home) and have an income of at least $200,000 per year.
Vallas promises full transparency to all his investors. “We disclose every possible risk that there could be to the business,” he said. “An airline is not an everyday business. But it’s very rewarding when it’s successful. And there is no reason for it not to be successful. The demand and demographics indicated that there is more demand for seats in North County than we can produce in the next three years.”
Vallas also cited the benefits of CP Air’s success to the community. “Our market area is about 50 percent business people up and down and all throughout the West Coast,” he said. “We will be bringing tourism into North County from all seven cities. The hotels, the restaurants will all benefit.”
For more information and specifics about this unique investment opportunity, please contact Ted Vallas at [email protected] or call (760) 436 -8919.