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U.S. Dornier 328 Operator to Resume Scheduled Flights

A Taos Air Dornier 328J departing Carlsbad, Calif (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

After several months of service hiatus, Taos, N.M.-based Taos Air will be resuming flights to their previously served destinations in California and Texas. The carrier will also resume the shuttle that takes passengers from the airport to the Taos Ski Valley. The previous halt in service was due to the coronavirus; when countrywide lockdowns were put in place, New Mexico began two-week quarantine orders for all people entering the state.

Flights on Taos Air are operated by Advanced Air, a Hawthorne, Calif.-based airline that flies a number of charter operations outside of normal scheduled carrier flights. And while the carrier doesn’t have any interline or codeshares at this time, it is discussing options with several carriers.

Taos Air is an industry leader despite being a relatively small airline. Earlier on in their history, the carrier became the world’s first carbon-neutral airline, offsetting 100% of their carbon emissions.

All flights in and out of Taos will be operated by Advanced Air on one of two Dornier 328Jets that are dedicated solely to the Taos Air operations, which are each configured to seat 30 passengers.

What’s Resuming

Route resumptions include Austin and Dallas, Texas in addition to Hawthorne and Carlsbad, Calif. Carlsbad is located north of San Diego, while Hawthorne Municipal Airport is located less than five miles from much larger Los Angeles International Aiport.

Flights will be resuming on July 1, and the summer schedule will continue until Sept. 27. Ticket sales for the coming winter season — which will last from Dec. 16 until April 4, 2022 — will go on sale in the next few weeks. Despite all of the routes having been inaugurated more than a year ago, this will actually be the first summer season that the carrier will be operating a few of them.

During the summer season, flights will operate twice per week to each destination. Austin and Carlsbad flights will operate on Thursdays and Sundays while Hawthorne and Dallas flights will occur on Fridays and Mondays. Once the winter schedule resumes next season, each destination will see flights three times per week.

The way the timing works out on the flights, passengers are able to book a flight from Texas to California, or vice versa, with a stopover in New Mexico on the airline. For those passengers traveling the whole way, the airline is going to look to capitalize on flyers who would want to take advantage of that stopover opportunity.

Taos Air’s return will be a much-needed boost to one of the airports it serves, the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. The carrier has its main base at the Hawthorne Municipal Airport, and Austin and Dallas’s Love Field also regularly see other airline services besides Taos Air’s. But for Carlsbad, Taos Air will continue to be the only carrier offering scheduled flights into the airport

This also means Advanced Air, under the Taos Air banner, will be the longest-serving carrier at the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad since United Express left in April 2015. United’s departure from Carlsbad was due to the retirement of the Embraer E120 aircraft. This will also be the first time an airline has operated service during the summer months since 2014.

Joey Gerardi


  • Joey Gerardi

    Joe has always been interested in planes, for as long as he can remember. He grew up in Central New York during the early 2000s when US Airways Express turboprops ruled the skies. Being from a non-aviation family made it harder for him to be around planes and would only spend about three hours a month at the airport. He was so excited when he could drive by himself and the first thing he did with the license was get ice cream and go plane spotting for the entire day. When he has the time (and money) he likes to take spotting trips to any location worth a visit. He’s currently enrolled at Western Michigan University earning a degree in Aviation Management and Operations.

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