Air Transport World

AirCal builds new niche in tough "California Corridor."

AirCal is a different airline today than it was in May 1981, when a couple of West Coast business entrepreneurs fromed holding company and acquired the airline for $61.5 million from bankcrupt Westage-California, beating out Air Florida's bid by a couple of million or so.

For one thing, the holding company, AirCal Inc., went public in Spetember 1983, selling 2.5 million shares of common stock. This helped reduce debt substantially and pu the airline on firmer financial footing. It reduced the holdings of the two original owners, William Lyon and George L. Argyros, to 35 of the common stock each. Lyon is chairman, president and CEO of AirCal.

For another thing, AirCal umbilical string to Orange County's John Wayne Airport has been loosened. From its Orange County hub, the airline had emphasized unreserved or underserved markets by linking satellite airports to each other and to major metropolitan markers. But since December 1982 it has made itself a growing factor in the busy "California Corridor" between the Los Angeles/Orange County area and the San francisco Bay area, and is expanding its services in Washington,, Oregon and Nevada as well.

The results have been positive. Operating revenues are up, yield is up, expenses are down, and losses are being erased. It appears that the 1982 operating loss of $20.7 million (on operating revenues of $214.7 million) will be replaced by an operating profit when the figures for the full year 1983 are totaled. Fro the nine-month period, January through September, 1983 produced an operating profit of $9.5 million, compared with a 1982 operating loss of $13.5 million. …

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