Air Fresno

Air Fresno to Reopen

In May of 2012 Air Fresno entered Chapter 13 bankruptcy due to a decline of its customer base and the airlines parent company over extending itself on other projects. Over the next few months all other projects under McKay Virtual Aviation’s management were cancelled and existing projects were closed. With a totally clean slate work began on the most economical launch of Air Fresno for the fall of 2013, using the available remaining staff and specific flights that were popular with the airline since its initial launching in March, 1998. Considerations were made to incorporate many new expectations regarding fleet choices as well, with a payware regional aircraft still being the choice of those who expressed a preference.

Currently Air Fresno is expected to return to operational status in mid to late November, it is seeking exemptions from 14 CFR Part 139 restrictions so that it may move its operations from Fresno-Yosemite International (FAT) to the downtown Continue reading


Air Fresno to Declare Chapter 11

Citing an over extension of it’s routes and loss of passengers to other carriers Air Fresno has contacted noted local Fresno attorney Corin Agabajian with it’s intention to declare insolvency. The airline has not made a profit since leasing a number of Embraer jets and expanding its routes northward to Seattle and into Arizona with stops in Phoenix and Tucson. “I think with the airline in Chapter 11 we can get out from under these leases with Embraer and in a few months be able to resume regional turboprop operations that will be supported out of Fresno”. Since March many flights have been cancelled for lack of ticket sales, employee layoffs and other cost cutting measures just have not met expectations. The airline does still own a small fleet of Beech 1900D’s that have been stored at the Mojave Spaceport since the summer of 2009, Air Fresno CEO Peter McKay stated that once the Embraers have been returned efforts to restore them to flying condition will be made. The airline declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2003 due to a number of accidents and the subsequent law suits that saw the carrier lose its operating insurance.


BudgJet Airways to be Relaunched by Air Fresno CEO Pete McKay

Air Fresno CEO Peter McKay has made extensive progress in the re-launching of a 2006 VA project dubbed BudgJet Airways. The airline which saw a restart of operations in the southeast United States and an Atlanta, Georgia headquarters however will be moved westward beginning in June, settling back in its original home of San Jose, California.

The airline also has a new website to showcase its style; plans are for a fully featured site to be published over the next few months. BudgJet Airways is also slated to assume the older Air Fresno’s limited operations and expand on them by offering jet service into Canada and Mexico, and turboprop service into locations where jet traffic is not economical or feasible due to noise restrictions.

Visit BudgJet Airways at:


Air Fresno Aquires New Aircraft

Faced with a difficult decision regarding its fleet, after a week of extensive testing Air Fresno has decided that the Airbus A318, as well as other variants, suit their service requirements. “The stickler was the approaches into both South Lake Tahoe and Santa Barbara where terrain and noise were issues. There simply was no other choice available for the steep approaches and departures at these two locations than the A318 with it’s Steep Approach Mode and Fly By Wire.” The airline immediately secured a lease for one A318 with the enhanced capabilities while placing an order for purchase for one from Airbus for expedited delivery. Air Fresno is also acquiring one A319, two A320′s and one A321, with the A319 arriving by mid-January. As each new variant arrives Air Fresno will expand it’s routes for that model. “Investment in these aircraft is going to be substantial, we wanted to make sure the choice we make today is going to still be the right one at the end of 2012″. Cost for the five planned aircraft is estimated at $305 million, with the last aircraft set to arrive my the end of March. Air Fresno’s new aircraft and revised familiar livery can be seen at


Air Fresno Pushes Back Re-Opening Until End of January

Just a week after announcing it’s January reopening Air Fresno is pushing back the start of operations until closer to the end of the month. This is to give the airline time to find suitable replacements for the CRJ-700 regional jets it was using, replacements that will once again allow Air Fresno to provide service to some of it’s more popular destinations. “The CRJ’s are wholly unsuitable for the Runway 36 approach into South Lake Tahoe, we are determined to find a jet aircraft capable of meeting the service demands for that facility”. Air Fresno CEO Peter McKay said that the airline is working with the FAA to obtain a similar steep approach rating that the EASA has given the Airbus A318 in Europe with the intention of employing one here in the states. “The Runway 36 approach does initially exceed the 5.5 degree limit that the EASA placed on the A318 in Steep Approach Mode, however the last several miles of that approach are within the aircraft capabilities”. Demonstration flights into TVL have been delayed by weather, the approach tests must be done first in fair weather before acceptance can be granted. There is no ILS approach for the R36 approach, but McKay stated that prevailing winds generally allow landings on Runway 18, which does have a limited ILS approach. “It’s not just TVL we’re looking at but a whole host of other noise sensitive airports where the A318 and possibly the A320 could be placed in service”.


Air Fresno to Reopen in Mid January

After a 10 month closure, necessary due to real-world time constraints, Air Fresno will be reopening it’s doors in mid January.  The small California based regional airline that originally opened in 1998 has suffered several closures over the years because of the lack of time needed for updates and operations.  However, airline CEO Pete McKay states that now is the best time to reopen the airline.  “There has been a decline in interest in the hobby as a whole, but I feel that there is still a place for a simple, basic requirement virtual airline to exist among all the technically challenging ones.”  Air Fresno picked up where it left off and completed the livery and fleet changed it initially began in February, 2010, when the airline was closed due to lack of time.  “All of the remaining staffers except one have agreed to return, operations have already begun.”  The airline, which won a number of awards in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s keeps it’s operations simple, and there are no entrance exams.


Air Fresno to Change Livery – US Airways Regional Carrier

The look of Air Fresno will be changing in the near future, as the airline becomes a US Airways regional division. As part of an agreement with one of the virtual airlines long time pilots, who is a retired real world US Airways pilot, Air Fresno’s domain costs will be paid through the end of the year 2015. In exchange the airline will switch to US Airways Express livery, and will become a “payware exclusive” airline, requiring all members to own a licensed copy of the PMDG Express Beech 1900C and 1900D. The service will continue to be based out of Fresno, California, with selected service locations that US Airways does serve, but only from Phoenix. “We intend to link Fresno with more than a dozen destinations, retaining Air Fresno’s service profile, all that is really changing is the livery”. US Airways Express destinations will include Bakersfield, Ontario, Continue reading


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