US Startup Avelo Airlines Inaugurates Operations In California

Avelo Airlines has inaugurated its operations out of Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). Operating to Santa Rosa, a popular wine country airport, the inaugural flight officially makes the airline the latest startup carrier in the US and the first in over a decade to launch operations. With growth planned, Avelo Airlines is a carrier to watch out for.

Avelo Airlines
Avelo Airlines launched operations out of Burbank on April 28th. Photo: Avelo Airlines

Avelo Airlines launches operations

Wednesday, April 28th, was a big day in US aviation. Avelo Airlines officially launched new nonstop flights with its inaugural flight to Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS). A gateway to wine country, the route is part of Avelo’s leisure-oriented portfolio.

The inaugural Avelo Airlines flight left BUR at 10:30 local time and arrived in STS at 11:55 local time, marking the first successful Avelo Airlines commercial flight.

Avelo Ribbon Cutting
CEO Andrew Levy, who has formerly held positions at Allegiant and United, cutting a ribbon before the inaugural flights. Photo: Avelo Airlines

CEO Andrew Levy stated the following on the inaugural:

“Today’s first flight represents far more than a 90-minute journey from LA’s iconic Hollywood Burbank Airport to the Sonoma County Airport in the heart of California wine country — we’re embarking on a new era of choice, convenience and everyday low fares.

“Avelo was created to inspire travel by making it easier and more affordable to reconnect with family, celebrate with friends and explore new places. We’re excited to play a small part in making these new memories and adventures possible.”

An expanding portfolio of routes

This week, Avelo will launch more flights across the Western United States. On April 29th, three-times-per-week flights will launch to Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) in Pasco, Washington. These flights depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Avelo Boeing 737
Avelo Airlines flew a 189-seat Boeing 737-800 on its inaugural flight. Photo: Avelo Airlines

April 30th will see four-times-per-week service to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN). A gateway to Yellowstone National Park, these flights will run on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from BUR.

More destinations will run from May. By the end of May, Avelo will expand its nonstop route portfolio to Arcata and Redding in California; Redmond, Eugene, and Medford in Oregon; Grand Junction in Colorado; Phoenix-Mesa in Arizona; and Ogden in Utah.

Avelo Takeoff
More routes will launch over the coming month. Photo: Avelo Airlines

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An exciting new airline in the US

The last major startup the US saw was in 2007 when Virgin America began operations. Unlike Avelo Airlines, Virgin America was a full-service carrier that targeted initial operations on routes from San Francisco. Alaska Airlines later merged with Virgin America, with the former brand surviving.

Since then, the US has seen continued consolidation in the industry. Delta merged with Northwest. American merged with US Airways. United merged with Continental. In the ultra-low-cost market, Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, and Sun Country were the primary contenders. In the last few years, all four of these carriers have grown incredibly and become forces to contend with in many markets.

Avelo Burbank
Hollywood Burbank has seen some airline service cut back, but with Avelo, there is plenty of hope for the future. Photo: Avelo Airlines

The consolidation has led to some airports being overlooked. Hollywood Burbank was one of those airports, and it only faced more cuts when the crisis hit, as carriers focused their Los Angeles area operations around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Now, Hollywood Burbank Airport will be getting a new competitor, and one with plenty of guts.

Avelo will face some competition on the route this summer, as Alaska Airlines plans to inaugurate flights between BUR and STS using an Embraer E175 aircraft. That being said, Avelo is targeting a more leisure-oriented market. Passengers are lured in with low fares and relatively inexpensive ancillary options.

Avelo has shown it does not back down from a fight, which bodes well for future expansion. If these flights are successful, expect the carrier to target similar veins of expansion.

Are you excited to see Avelo Airlines launch operations? Let us know in the comments!