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The Avelo aircraft is seen during the Avelo Air aircraft shoot at Hollywood Burbank Airport on April 07, 2021 in Burbank, California. (Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Avelo Air)

Avelo Airlines Announces First East Coast Base in New Haven, Connecticut

The U.S. startup Avelo Airlines unveiled its plans to expand to the East Coast of the United States via New Haven, Connecticut, amid its inaugural flight from Burbank, Cali. to Santa Rosa, Cali. a week earlier. From the third quarter of 2021, the low-cost carrier expects itself to utilize three new 149-seat Boeing 737-700 aircraft to launch multiple flights from its new east-coast base.

Currently, Avelo Airlines plans to operate flights to eleven destinations from its base in Burbank. The airline’s three Boeing 737-700 aircraft will join its current fleet of three 189-seat Boeing 737-800s, based in Burbank. 

Its business model is based on connecting “secondary underserved airports” in large metropolitan areas, like New Haven, for example. Avelo Airlines sees an opportunity for increased air service in Southern Connecticut, to what it proclaims to be “popular destinations.”  Information on Avelo’s route network from New Haven will be announced in the coming months. A study from New Haven’s Small Community Air Service Development Grant – SCASD – found the top unserved destinations for the airport to be Miami, Orlando and Chicago. 

Currently, New Haven sees service from American Airlines regional subsidiaries like Republic Airways, ferrying passengers into the airline’s hub in Philadelphia. American Airlines uses smaller regional Embraer E175s on the flights, which Avelo claims is a disadvantage to its comfy mainline experience.

“We are very excited to partner with HVN as we begin to build our East Coast operations. Our surprisingly low fares and refreshingly smooth travel experience are sure to be embraced by residents of Southern Connecticut,” stated Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy. “Tweed New Haven has enormous potential, and our first East Coast base is great news for Avelo, New Haven, East Haven and other local communities.”

As part of Avelo’s trust in the market, the airline is investing $1.2 million to update and modernize the airport’s current facilities for operation. Additionally, the carrier will hire 100 locally-based crewmembers, like pilots, flight attendants, etc. 

New Haven Airport Expansion

Furthermore, in this announcement, Tweed New Haven Airport announced a $100 million expansion, including a new terminal and an extended runway to accommodate longer-range services. Under the airport’s plan, a 74,000 square-foot carbon-neutral terminal would be built on the east side of the airport.

To facilitate the project, the airport authority is working with Airports, the manager and operator of Tweed New Haven Airport, which plans to invest $100 million in the airport. This move replaces a $1.8 million annual subsidy from local and state governments. Airports claims the project will generate 11,000 jobs and $47 million in revenue for local and state taxes.

“It is critically important for us to work with partners who share our ideals to maintain the convenience that people love about Tweed New Haven, while respecting the existing character of the local cities and their communities that we serve,” said Sean Scanlon, executive director of Tweed New Haven Airport Authority. “We cannot imagine a better air partner to do this with than Avelo, as an airline that prioritizes people with a culture of service.”

In the past, other airlines have expressed interest in the airport, though contingent on the runway being extended. For example, in 2019, Allegiant Air showed interest in launching flights to Florida from the airport and had supported a runway extension in prior years. Additionally, in the airport’s SCASD filings, Tweed New Haven has seen interest from another low-cost carrier startup, Breeze Airways.

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