Avelo will be only airline to fly from Delaware with 5 new Wilmington routes, crew base
Delaware is currently the only state without commercial air service — but not for long.
Ultra-low-cost startup Avelo Airlines is not only launching five new routes from the state's Wilmington Airport (ILG), but it's also opening a crew base.
Avelo's move restores air service to the First State, which was lost in June when Frontier Airlines ended service. Flights to the airport have been on and off over the years, due in large part to the airport's close proximity to Philadelphia. Wilmington Airport is located just 30 minutes by car from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), a hub for American Airlines — making service difficult to sustain for airlines looking to keep locals from just going to Philadelphia for the plentiful flight options there.
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Now, Avelo is betting that its low fares can attract not only Delaware residents, but also travelers who live closer to Philadelphia.
All five of the new routes are to Florida. The routes and starting dates are as follows: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on Feb. 2, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) near Fort Myers on Feb. 3, Orlando International Airport (MCO) on Feb. 1, Tampa International Airport (TPA) on Feb. 2 and Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) on Feb. 4. Introductory fares on all five routes start at $49 one-way and are available for purchase now on Avelo's website.
"The Delaware Valley region wants and deserves more affordable, convenient and reliable air travel," Avelo CEO Andrew Levy said in a statement. "Avelo was founded with a simple purpose – to Inspire Travel. Our very low fares and nonstop flights to five sun-soaked Florida destinations coupled with the fast and seamless experience at Wilmington Airport will make traveling easier than ever."
Avelo's Wilmington-based crew will initially create at least 35 jobs, the airline said; this includes pilots, flight attendants, customer service workers and maintenance technicians. At first, the airline will base a single one of its Boeing 737s. The airline now has 11 737 NGs in its fleet — a mix of 737-700s and 737-800s — and expects to have 16 by the end of March.
More: Avelo Airlines CEO Andrew Levy on the airline's path to profitability: 'We're really close'
Avelo's announcement Thursday comes after the airline made the decision to suspend its plans for a second Florida crew base at RSW.
"Unfortunately, the effect of Hurricane Ian has significantly altered the travel demand for this market and, therefore, we have postponed our plans to establish a RSW base," an Avelo spokesperson said in a statement. "Consequently, the five new routes we planned to begin serving from RSW in November are being postponed. We will continue to operate our existing route between [Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN)] and RSW and beginning in February serve RSW from ILG."
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