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On April 8, 2021, Avelo Airlines (Avelo) announced its debut, marking the “first mainline U.S. carrier launch in nearly 15 years.” The Houston-based ultra-low-cost carrier will officially begin operations out of Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) on April 28, 2021.
Avelo chairman and CEO Andrew Levy is confident that a “pay less, travel more” business model is the incentive that cooped-up travelers are looking for. “People are ready to reconnect with family and friends and explore new places,” he said.
Eleven non-stop routes between BUR and “markets across the western U.S.” will start at the end of April for as little as $19 (one-way).
Levy, co-founder and former president of Allegiant Air and ex-chief financial officer at United Airlines, credits a “broad investor base with notable airline knowledge” for the fundamentals of Avelo’s “unique operating strategy.”
During a press conference, Levy explained, “We call all of our employees crewmembers.” The goal is to employ 400 to 500 crewmembers by year-end.
Combined with Levy’s two decades of airline leadership experience, Avelo’s “crew” includes former Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Northwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines executives.
Avelo’s fleet currently includes three single-class, 189-seat Boeing 737-800 jets. By the end of 2021, the airline anticipates a fleet of six “next-generation 737 aircraft.”
The airline’s 11 routes connect Burbank with “small, easy to navigate airports” in Utah, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado and Arizona — none of which currently offer service to Burbank.
Levy said, “After more than 20 years of steadily shrinking consumer choice, the American flying public wants and deserves more options and lower fares.”
According to Levy, the commercial airline was founded with a mission: “to inspire travel.” And Avelo plans to do so through a “built-from-scratch, customer-centric culture.” Levy said the goal isn’t just to save customers money, but also time — “making [travel] easier so that you do it more often,” he added.
Optional add-ons include reserved window seating for an additional $5, seating with 31 to 38 inches of pitch that starts at $18 and checked baggage for just $10.
“Combine that with operating bases at many of the nation’s most convenient airports . . . and you have a different and better kind of airline,” said Levy.
BUR, which was chosen as Avelo’s operating base for its “convenience to Greater Los Angeles, ease of use and lower costs,” created employment for approximately 150 crewmembers, including pilots, flight attendants, technicians, airport customer service agents and ground crew — “making Avelo the airport’s largest airline employer.”
Avelo’s head of strategy, Robert Ashcroft, admits he’s a fan of BUR for its rich history and ease of use. “[BUR] is known for providing a better experience than other area airports,” he said. “Pandemic-related cutbacks allowed us to fill a void at the best airport in Greater LA. Our focus on convenient airports starts with Burbank.”
Launched with $125 million in private capital, the airline anticipates employment for “more than 250 aviation professionals when scheduled flight service begins at the end of April.”
The timing, according to Levy, perfectly coincides with America’s desire to get back to travel. “We’re itching to get out there and get back on airplanes,” he said. “But right now, especially as we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel . . . and as more people get vaccinated, we’re really looking forward to seeing you out there on one of our airplanes.”
Flights from April 28, 2021, through Sept. 15, 2021, are now open for booking at aveloair.com.