Avelo Airlines drops Tucson in 2nd failed attempt at Arizona service

Jan 18, 2022

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Avelo Airlines continues to suffer from weak demand in Arizona.

The carrier ended service to Tucson on Monday, Jan. 17, just more than a month after beginning service to the city. The carrier commenced service to Tucson (TUS) on Dec. 16 from its Burbank (BUR) base, with plans to serve the city seasonally.

At the time of the announcement, a carrier spokesperson shared that “we think the route has strong potential through the winter and into the spring.”

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However, the carrier’s predictions didn’t materialize as the airline is suspending the service entirely, as first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by the airline. A spokesperson shared that the move was due to weak demand:

It’s unfortunate that this step was necessary so close to the inauguration of this route, but no one saw the Omicron variant of Covid or its impact on this route coming when we announced it last September. The demand simply didn’t materialize after the holidays, which we believe was compounded by the surge in the Omicron variant that is negatively impacting travel demand across the airline industry.

Flyers who were booked on one of the canceled flights are entitled to a full refund.

Interestingly, the Tucson cut is Avelo’s second failed attempt at service in Arizona. When the carrier launched its first tranche of routes in April, the airline was flying daily to Phoenix/Mesa (AZA).

Phoenix flights only lasted about four months, though, as the carrier abruptly tweaked its frequencies and then ultimately closed its station there. The airline isn’t throwing in the towel on Phoenix completely though, as it said in a statement that “we will reevaluate returning to [the] market for the summer of 2022.”

Avelo’s latest route map (Map courtesy of Avelo Airlines)

Either way, Avelo clearly hoped for better luck in Tucson — but it didn’t work out. The airline didn’t have any direct competition in the Tucson market, according to Cirium schedules, whereas it went up against American, Frontier and Southwest in Phoenix.

In addition to cutting Arizona service, Avelo has already dropped Grand Junction, Colorado (GJT) and Bozeman, Montana (BZN), from its launch markets, and later scrapped plans to fly to Monterey, California (MRY), St. George, Utah (SGU), and Provo, Utah (PVU).

Related: Avelo announces new funding round as it plans to double in size

While these cuts sting for flyers booked on upcoming flights, Avelo actually believes that being nimble is working to its advantage. “All airlines are constantly adding and testing new routes — and suspending routes when they aren’t working. The best airlines just do this faster than the rest,” it said in a statement.

In better news, the airline continues to grow on the East Coast, where it just launched its sixth Florida destination — Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ) — from its new Northeast base in New Haven, Connecticut (HVN).

Sarasota/Bradenton joins Avelo’s five other routes from the Tweed New Haven Airport, including Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW), Orlando (MCO), Tampa (TPA) and West Palm Beach (PBI).

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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