Budget carrier Avelo Airlines will add to its route map with a new East Coast hub in New Haven, Connecticut. The choice of airport, located just minutes from Yale University, marks a riskier bet than Avelo’s West Coast operations.
Last month, Avelo Airlines launched operations from Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). Live and Let’s Fly was on hand for the first flight and you can read more about Avelo here:
- Review: Avelo Airlines 737-800 Burbank – Santa Rosa – Burbank
- Avelo Inaugural Flight Report
- What Food & Drinks Does Avelo Airlines Serve Onboard?
Today, the carrier announced it would create a second base at Tweed Airport in New Haven, CT (HVN). While 189-seat Boeing 737-800s are operated from Burbank, Avelo will use a trio of 147-seat 737-700s at HVN.
As part of the announcement, Avelo has pledged $1.2 million to update Tweed New Haven Airport. Avelo also plans to hire over 100 local workers by the end of the year, including:
- Flight Attendants
- Ground Staff
Here’s how CEO Andrew Levy explains the move:
“We are very excited to partner with HVN as we begin to build our East Coast operations. Our surprisingly low fares and refreshingly smooth travel experience are sure to be embraced by residents of Southern Connecticut. Tweed New Haven has enormous potential, and our first East Coast base is great news for Avelo, New Haven, East Haven and other local communities.”
No routes have been announced yet.
New Haven Is Riskier Than Burbank For Avelo
Hollywood Burbank Airport is located in the heart of Los Angeles County and home to millions of people. The airport is small, but hardly tiny, and serves as a more convenient alternate to Los Angeles International Airport for literally millions of residents throughout LA County.
Tweed New Haven Airport is different. Currently, the only commercial service operating is American Eagle to Philadelphia (PHL). In that sense, there is little competitive pressure Avelo will face.
On the other hand, Tweed is about an hour from Hartford-Bradley International Airport (BDL) and over two hours from New York City. With a population of about 130,000 (about 850,000 in New Haven County), will there be enough to sustain air service? Certainly the budget carrier will be a hit for students at Yale traveling between the university and home.
Will Avelo head to Florida like other carriers seem to be doing? Will it dare to fly west to cities like Rockford, IL (RFD) outside of Chicago or Grand Rapids (GRR) or perhaps Willow Run Airport (YIP) as an alternate to Detroit?
Levy and his team are smart: I’m sure they have run the numbers. But you also can’t squeeze water from a stone.
Avelo will establish an East Coast base in New Haven to complement its West Coast base in Burbank. New routes have not been announced, but Avelo will operate a different aircraft type (737-700 versus 737-800) and hopes to begin operations later this year.
If you live in Connecticut, would you consider driving to HVN to fly Avelo?