America's newest airline, known for its $19 flights, is spending $1.2 million to bring its cheap trips to the East Coast

·3 min read
Flying on Avelo Airlines
Flying on the first flight of Avelo Airlines. Thomas Pallini/Insider
  • Avelo Airlines is coming to the East Coast with a new base in New Haven, Connecticut.

  • Routes have not yet been announced but it's likely Avelo will offer flights across the East Coast and Southeast.

  • Avelo is spending $1.2 million as part of a larger $100 million investment to modernize the airport.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

New Haven, Connecticut, will soon have more going for it than just Yale University and pizza.

Avelo Airlines is choosing the Elm City as its East Coast base with flights from Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport scheduled to start later this year.

"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," Andrew Levy, Avelo's chief executive officer, said in a statement.

New Haven is sandwiched between Hartford, Connecticut, and New York City, the two closest cities with service from ultra-low-cost carriers. While travelers living anywhere between those two cities were formerly forced to choose, Avelo is giving a third option that will be more convenient to many.

Convenience is key for Avelo, which launched its first flights in April from Hollywood Burbank Airport in California as an alternative to the busier Los Angeles International Airport. Smaller airports boast greater ease of access for travelers and lower operating costs for the airline.

"Avelo's purpose is to inspire travel and today we begin that process of making it easy, and convenient, and affordable with everyday low fares, for customers to be able to choose us," Levy said when launching the airline's first flight from Burbank to Santa Rosa, California.

"It is critically important for us to work with partners who share our ideals to maintain the convenience that people love about Tweed New Haven, while respecting the existing character of the local cities and their communities that we serve," Sean Scanlon, executive director of Tweed New Haven Airport Authority, said in a statement.

Manhattan is also 80 miles away and Avelo's low fares could attract New Yorkers for which the drive is under two hours, and train service is offered on Amtrak and the Metro-North Railroad. Travelers from Boston and Eastern Massachusetts may also be inclined to make the journey to New Haven, if the price and flights are right.

Avelo's entrance is a shot in the arm for New Haven's airport, which only sees scheduled service from American Airlines to Philadelphia on regional aircraft. But New Haven isn't yet ready for Avelo and so the airline is investing $1.2 million into modernizing the airport with an extended runway and new terminal as part of a larger $100 million investment by Avports.

Read More: Here's how the airport experience will likely change post-pandemic, according to a CEO that manages 8 of them

Staffing the New Haven base calls for around 100 new employees ranging from pilots and flight attendants to airport support staff. Avelo estimates its presence will create 11,000 jobs in the region.

Boeing 737-700 aircraft will be based in New Haven, the smaller variant of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft with which Avelo debuted operations in April, with Insider onboard the first flight. In line with the airline's ultra-low-cost business model, the planes are basic with few onboard amenities, though in-flight WiFi may be offered by the time Avelo starts New Haven flights.

No routes have been announced but Avelo's goal is to focus on leisure destinations and keep flights at around two hours. That puts most of the East Coast and parts of the Southeast including Florida well within range of New Haven.

"Our surprisingly low fares and refreshingly smooth travel experience are sure to be embraced by residents of Southern Connecticut," said Levy.

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