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California Express Re-Birth Rises from Shelved Merger Talks

Amidst talks of a merger that would have seen Air Fresno and Pacific Coast Cargo converge and consolidate their fleets to form a cargo-only operation, Air Fresno C.E.O., Peter McKay, and Pacific Coast Cargo C.E.O., John King, have instead decided to redevelop California Express, a venture sparked when Air Fresno closed in 2006. California Express will begin operations early next year utilizing the Boeing 737-300 aircraft incorporating upwards of twenty-five unique liveries.

Original plans called for a flight schedule based on real world flight times supplied by Southwest Airlines, and operating from San Diego (18 routes), Los Angeles (18 routes), San Jose (12 routes), San Francisco (6 routes), Orange County (6 routes), and Ontario (6 routes). Jet service through Fresno will not be scheduled, instead Air Fresno will be a feeder through one of those hubs.

However, after evaluating the situation, it has been determined that using the complete Southwest Airlines schedule as a model would be significantly overwhelming. “What we will be doing [instead] is¬†scheduling 3x-a-day service to major locations, i.e. LAX-DEN, and once daily to lesser destinations, i.e. LAX-SMF,” said McKay, “[the revised schedule] would still give us over 200 flights, [...] more than we will probably ever need.” He went on to say, “I don’t intend to eliminate any of the locations served by that schedule, just scale them back significantly.”

California Express Management has yet to finalize their website and email details and are currently exploring their aircraft possibilities, with the SGA/FFX Boeing 737-300 in the forefront. Other options include the payware Wilco 737 PIC or various freeware models available throughout the FSX community.

The new airline is looking at an early 2008 launch for its new service, hopefully riding the coattails of a reinvigorated Air Fresno operation. Air Fresno uses the Raytheon/Beech 1900D aircraft serving the Northern California market. For more information on Air Fresno, visit their website at: www.airfresno.com. Pacific Coast Cargo does not maintain a website at this time, but interested pilots can leave a comment here on VAFlash.com that will be forwarded to Pacific Coast Cargo Management.

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