Starting in late September, North County residents will have a more convenient way to jet to Las Vegas, thanks to new air service from Cal Jet by Elite Airways.
The new airline, which formed a partnership with Portland, Maine-based Elite Airways, announced Wednesday that it would begin offering daily service starting Sept. 28 between McClellan Palomar Airport in Carlsbad and Las Vegas.
More than three years in the making, the Las Vegas flights are the first scheduled jet service to operate out of the Carlsbad airport.
For those who would normally fly out of Lindbergh Field, the new twice daily flights will shave considerable time off the drive to the airport.
"If you're driving downtown for flights, you have to allocate a lot of time to get there, but this will eliminate all that," said airline president George Wozniak. "That's why our slogan is 'Say good-bye to I-5.'"
The airline will use two Bombardier CRJ700 luxury jets for ferrying passengers between Carlsbad and Las Vegas. Each jet will be outfitted with six first-class seats and 58 coach seats.
Advance purchase fares, which are bought at least 13 days or more before the scheduled flight, will start at $69 each way. The highest such fares would be around $129, Wozniak said. First- class fares are expected to be $299 each way.
"Our fares are the same as the three competitors out of Lindbergh: Delta, Spirit and Southwest," Wozniak said. "And in some cases, we will have promotional fares that will be less."
Flights out of Carlsbad will depart at 9 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., and return flights from Las Vegas are scheduled to leave at 11 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.