Avelo Airlines has begun operating the smaller Boeing 737-700 this week. The airline is currently flying one of the smallest 737 variant and will take delivery of two more. The jets previously belonged to Southwest, and one will be based out of Avelo’s upcoming base in New Haven, Conn, this winter.
According to ch-aviation, Avelo Airlines has begun Boeing 737-700 operations. The aircraft, N916WN, was activated on August 9th and made a quick test flight from Burbank to San Bernadino. Once ready for service, the aircraft began operations out of Avelo’s hub in Hollywood Burbank Airport.
On August 11th, the 737-700 made its first commercial flight from Burbank to Bozeman. Since then, the plane has been hard at work with the low-cost carrier, flying from its base to Phoenix, Ontario, Jacksonville, Grand Junction, and other destinations in Avelo’s rapidly growing network.
Until now, Avelo has been operating three 737-800s, all equipped in an all-economy 189-seater configuration. However, as demand changes, the carrier has made plans to deploy the small, 143-seater, 737-700 as well.
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As mentioned earlier, Avelo currently has an order for three 737-700s, one of which has been delivered and is in service. All three jets are coming from Southwest Airlines, which flew the jets for over 13 years before returning them to lessors. N916WN, the first jet, is 13.4-years-old and was retired by Southwest in February 2021.
Since then, the aircraft has been repainted and the cabin upgraded before delivery to Avelo. The plane will likely remain in the fleet for years to come as the airline slowly grows in size and total destinations.
Notably, one of these 737-700s will be based out of Avelo’s first hub on the East Coast, New Haven. Tweed-New Haven Airport operations will begin sometime in October for the winter season and could be ground for some interesting routes for Avelo.
However, everything hasn’t been smooth sailing for startup Avelo. The carrier has seen competition from mainline carriers like Alaska Airlines during its California expansion and has struggled with demand on select routes.
The carrier has already announced that it will ax two routes in August and September. Grand Junction, Colorado, will saw flights stopped from August 16th and Bozeman, Montana, will see services end on 15th September. Notably, these were both routes the brand-new 737-700 flew this week because of the low demand.
In a statement about the schedule changes to FlightGlobal, Avelo said,
“These schedule changes include two markets where current customer demand is insufficient for us to justify continuing to fly beyond the summer. We will re-evaluate returning to both markets for the summer of 2022…[We will be] announcing several new west coast destinations in the near future.”
For now, the Connecticut base will be a big step for the airline and it is already deep in preparations. As passenger numbers fall in the US again, Avelo’s dreamy summer is quickly coming to an end.
What do you think about Avelo’s new 737-700 operations? Let us know in the comments!