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Aircal Chronology

November 18, 1986

1965--Five businessmen (William Myers, Alan H. Renison, Mark T. Gates Jr., William L. Pereira Jr., and Lud Penick) meet in Corona del Mar to discuss forming airline to meet travel needs between "under-served" Orange County and the Bay Area.

1966--Air California is granted first route certificate by California Public Utilities Commission, calling for a minimum of five daily flights between Orange County and San Francisco.

1967--Airline begins operations with two Lockheed Electra propjet aircraft; approval is given for Oakland and San Jose routes and two more Lockheed Electras are added. Airline carries 293,604 passengers in first year.

1968--Air California opens maintenance base at San Francisco International Airport and introduces Boeing 737 jet service. Operations begin from Hollywood-Burbank Airport to San Jose and Oakland.

1969--Airline carries 1-millionth passenger and holds first shareholders meeting. Service begins from Palm Springs to Bay Area.

1970--Westgate-California assumes control of Air California in midyear following successful tender offer; new board of directors is elected. Service begins from San Diego to San Jose and Oakland.

1971--Air California adds new service between Orange County and Palm Springs, between Orange County and San Diego, and to Sacramento from Orange County. Robert W. Clifford is elected president.

1972--One million passengers are carried in single year; airline has first year of profit.

1973--Corporate headquarters is established on Birch Street in Newport Beach.

1976--Service connecting San Diego and Ontario is inaugurated.

1977--Airline celebrates 10th anniversary, becomes wholly owned subsidiary of Westgate-California Corp.

1978--New service connecting Reno, Sacramento, Ontario, and Orange County is initiated, marking Air California's first step beyond California.

1979--Airline enters competitive Ontario/San Francisco market. DC-9 Super 80s selected for noise abatement, fuel efficiency.

1980--Annual passenger mark reaches 2.99 million; airline records ninth straight year of profitability.

1981--Purchased for $61.5 million by AirCal Investments Inc., owned by Orange County businessmen William Lyon and George L. Argyros. Airline shortens name to AirCal, incorporating new logo. Five DC-9 Super 80s added to fleet.

1982--President Robert Clifford retires; William Lyon becomes chairman, president and chief executive officer.

1983--In effort to overcome mounting losses, employees are asked to take pay cut. Service reinstated for Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs after a few years of suspension; nonstop service inaugurated between Los Angeles and Sacramento.

1984--AirCal moved into its new Terminal I at Los Angeles International Airport, allowing AirCal to significantly increase service to and from Los Angeles. Monthly passenger boarding record set in August with 388,468 passengers.

1985--AirCal boards its 40-millionth passenger; first international route inaugurated with service between Vancouver and San Jose. David Banmiller elected president and chief operating officer; $11.6 million paid back to AirCal employees who took pay cut in 1983.

1986--Six ultra-quiet British Aerospace BAe 146s are ordered, allowing AirCal to expand service at Orange County. Non-stop service inaugurated between Orange County and Chicago.

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