The spotlight attracted by David Neeleman, founder of the newcomer Breeze Airways in addition to JetBlue and the Brazilian Azul, have monopolized media attention in recent months. But the new carrier created by the executive is not the only one to invest in the ultra low cost model in the U.S.
In April, another airline launched its flights in the country, Avelo Airlines. The company, founded by Andrew Levy, a former United executive, is the first new mainline U.S. carrier to start operations in almost 15 years, after the launch of Virgin America in 2007 – and which was eventually absorbed by Alaska.
Based in Houston, Avelo is not exactly an airline born from scratch. Levy acquired charter airline Xtra Airways in 2018 and which in turn originated from Casino Express Airlines in 1987.
Announced on April 8, Avelo Airlines debuted its flights 20 days later with three Boeing 737-800s leased from Hollywood Burbank Airport. The new carrier currently serves 11 destinations in the Western U.S.
Its aircraft are configured with 189 seats, 60 of them with extra legroom. One-way fares start at $19 on nonstop routes to cities like Redding and Santa Rosa (California), Medford and Eugene (Oregon), and Phoenix, Arizona.
As for a low cost, Avelo offers some amenities for separate prices such as baggage check-in ($10) or seat reservation from $5.
Avelo’s plans are to double the number of 737-800 by the end of 2021 and the company is counting on a $ 125 million investment from private equity.
“We are making flying more affordable and convenient by taking the greatest efficiencies we can find in the industry and sharing the savings with our customers in the form of surprisingly low fares,” said Andrew Levy.