Avelo Airlines bringing commercial flights back to Delaware
Another airline is attempting to bring commercial flights back to Wilmington Airport early next year.
Avelo Airlines is coming to the Wilmington/New Castle Airport February 1st, offering flights to five different Florida locations – Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
"And perhaps best of all," says Avelo CEO Andrew Levy. "Is the fare. We're starting off with an introductory fare of $49 one way.”
Levy hopes Wilmington can duplicate its new New Haven base that flies to Florida, Chicago, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and more.
“We like being in smaller airports outside of very large communities and being kind of the big fish maybe in the smaller pond, as opposed to just simply one other pond in the region. So the level of commitment that you're gonna see from us here in terms of grassroots marketing and brand awareness and try to generate that. I think it's just fundamentally different.”
The airline will initially create at least 35 jobs, but Avelo sees the potential for more. Gov John Carney touted not only jobs, but economic growth.
“One of the most positive things to say about them is there's not this ego around competition that you often see in government agencies around economic development. Who's going to take credit for the new jobs, who's gonna take credit for this, there's not a lot of that which is really good. Everybody can share the credit at the end of the day. You know, we just want the businesses and the jobs to be here for people that need them.”
Carney calls flying from a small airport a unique experience and is hopeful this attempt will stick, unlike Frontier which left Delaware in May.
Avelo allows customers to change or cancel with no extra fees and offers unbundled options, giving fliers the flexibility to pay for things like priority boarding, checked bags, and carry-on overhead bags separately. The airline's year-to-date flight cancellation rate is just 1% and has an industry-leading year-to-date checked bag handling performance of 1.9 mishandled bags per 1,000 checked bags.
Avelo will initially base one Boeing Next-Generation 737 in Wilmington. Avelo currently operates 11 737 aircrafts but expects to have 14 by the end of 2022 and 16 aircraft operating nationwide by March.