Pilot Shortage Suspends Commercial Airline Operations

California Pacific Airlines has parked its west coast-based ERJs indefinitely. California Pacific Airlines

Much has been written about the mounting pilot shortage, with even critical operators such as firefighters being forced to park some of their planes since there were no qualified pilots to take the controls. The latest victim of that issue is southern California's California Pacific Airlines. "We have temporarily suspended our Carlsbad flights and ticket sales due to impact from the nationwide pilot shortage," a statement said on the company's website. The regional airline, which operates 55-seat Embraer ERJ 145s, was forced to cancel all of its west coast flights indefinitely.

The statement indicated that pilots are in training and that operations will begin “soon,” but there is no indication of when the scheduling will be up and running again. All planned flights for January have been cancelled.

California Pacific Airlines started its operations in November and flies from Carlsbad’s McClellan-Palomar Airport to destinations such as San Jose, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Reno. While all west coast operations are suspended, the company is operating its central routes between Denver, Colorado, and Watertown and Pierre, South Dakota.

This is not the first challenge for California Pacific Airlines. The company was founded in 2009 and struggled to obtain the proper certification for operations. In 2017, the airline purchased ADI Aerodynamics, acquiring its commercial airline certification along with four Embraer ERJ 145s. The acquisition allowed the airline to start operations this fall.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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