Even with a recent surge in travel and flight bookings, an ongoing pandemic might not seem like the best time to launch a new airline. But American aviators will find planes sporting an unknown livery in the sky at the end of the month, when low-cost airline start-up Avelo Airlines begins flying on April 28.
Becoming the first new major airline in the United States in 15 years, Avelo Airlines was founded by Andrew Levy, former co-founder and chairman of Allegiant Air, and former chief financial officer of United Airlines.
The carrier has unveiled a list of new routes from its first base, Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). Explaining the move, Levy said, “No airport is closer to downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Pasadena and many other Southern California attractions than Burbank. As the hometown airport of San Fernando Valley, Burbank will give you easy access to an abundance of beautiful and relaxing new non-stop destinations across California and the western United States. Los Angeles for their next vacation or long weekend, Burbank is the ultra – a convenient, stress-free gateway to the greater Los Angeles area and the world-famous fun in the sun Southern California is known for. .
Levy also highlighted the convenience factor for passengers as a selling point for flights to and from Burbank instead of one of the larger airports in the region, given the smaller size of the installation, simplified pick-up and drop-off services, shorter door distances and faster security lines. .
Initially, Avelo Airlines will operate single-class 189-seat Boeing 737-800s, much the same as you would find on Southwest Airlines, with seats laid out in a 3 to 3 configuration. There will be 129 slim seats. with 29 inches of height taking up most of the cabin, and a smaller 60-seat section with more legroom with up to 31 to 38 inches of height. Fares for larger seats will cost more, with fees starting at around $ 18.
Avelo Airlines’ list of launch routes includes 11 direct flights to other destinations in the western United States, all of which are now available for booking, with fares as low as $ 19 each way. Destinations include:
Arcata-Eureka, California (ACV)
Bend-Redmond, OR (RDM)
Bozeman, MT (BZN)
Eugene, OR (EUG)
Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT)
Medford, OR (MFR)
Pasco, WA (PSC)
Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (AZA)
Ogden, UT (OGD)
Redding, California (RDD)
Santa Rosa, California (STS)
Of these, only Santa Rosa and Phoenix-Mesa will operate daily, while the others will operate three to four flights per week, with start dates ranging from April 28 to June 19.
These airfares may be low, but Avelo Airlines has said they will not include change fees or booking fees through its call center, reflecting actions taken by the rest of the airline. to build customer confidence at a time when many trips. plans are always evolving.
However, if you want to add amenities like checked baggage or even seat selection, you can expect to pay extra. Not as much as you might get on other airlines, however. A first piece of checked baggage will cost just $ 10, priority boarding will also cost $ 10, and pre-booked lane or window selections will start at $ 5 each. If you want to bring standard carry-on baggage with you, expect to pay an additional $ 35 for convenience.
Avelo Airlines’ decision to launch from a single hub on the west coast is interesting given that even the major traditional U.S. carriers have begun to explore more point-to-point opportunities as demand for travel has shifted from business to leisure and international to national during the pandemic. Considering the model offered by the airline, this makes sense. With fares this low, Avelo will need to pack their planes with new customers looking for a good deal, and then shorten turnaround times to maximize aircraft utilization. Operating from a single base to boot is a nifty way to do this and insulate the boot from any irregular operation that might arise in the first few months.
Interestingly, Avelo Airlines is just one of two new airlines scheduled to debut this year, the other being Breeze Airways from former JetBlue founder David Neelman. This carrier is also expected to start flying later this spring.
The launch of a new airline should be exciting news for aviators – even those not based in the western United States. Hopefully, Avelo’s low-cost fares will eventually drive prices down not only in the markets it initially serves, but also in other competing destinations. Likewise, other airlines could monitor the performance of their flights between secondary cities and underserved airports in case they also wish to enter these markets and provide even more options for leisure travelers.