The only US state without commercial airline service is getting 5 new routes to Florida next year — see the full list
Low-cost startup Avelo Airlines is launching five new routes to Wilmington Airport in New Castle, Delaware.
Delaware is the only US state without commercial airline service after Frontier Airlines left in June.
Wilmington will be a new base for Avelo, complementing three others in California, Connecticut, and Florida.
Delaware may be the First State, but it has been left in the dust by commercial airlines — until now.
Low-cost startup Avelo Airlines announced on Thursday that it will open a new base at Wilmington Airport in New Castle, Delaware on February 1.
New Castle will be the airline's fourth base in addition to Burbank, California; New Haven, Connecticut; and Orlando, Florida, having had to postpone the opening of Fort Myers due to dwindling demand after Hurricane Ian.
The new operation will come with five new routes to Florida using its Boeing 737 NG workhorse and create a gateway to the East Coast state.
"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 CEO Andrew Levy said in a press release.
Avelo's entrance is a silver lining for the abandoned state, which has struggled over the years to maintain airline service, mostly due to low demand. Frontier Airlines was the only carrier to serve Delaware up until June 6 when it pulled out after 16 months of operations, stating, "sufficient demand did not materialize to support the service."
"We are continually evaluating our routes and ILG will certainly remain in the consideration set for potential service in the future," airline spokesperson Jennifer De La Cruz told Insider in May.
Since Frontier's exit, Wilmington Airport, which has invested $2 million to upgrade the passenger terminal and comply with security requirements, has managed charter and general aviation flights. But, Avelo's operation, which will bring in dozens of jobs, means the new ticket counters, gate areas, and infrastructure can be used again.
"Wilmington Airport's excellent location along the busy I-95 corridor, along with the lowest cost operating environment of any airport in the US, offers customers the opportunity to forego the stress, expense, and hassles of a big city airport," Delaware River & Bay Authority executive director Thomas J. Cook said.
Here's a closer look at the five new routes Avelo will fly between Delaware and Florida.
Between Wilmington and Orlando
Avelo will launch thrice weekly flights between Wilmington and Orlando with a special inaugural on February 1, with regularly scheduled passenger service taking effect on February 3. Flights will run on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays
Between Wilmington and Fort Lauderdale
Avelo will launch twice weekly flights on Thursdays and Sundays between Wilmington and Fort Lauderdale starting on February 2.
Between Wilmington and Tampa
Avelo will launch twice weekly flights on Thursdays and Sundays between Wilmington and Tampa starting on February 2.
Between Wilmington and Fort Myers
Avelo will launch twice weekly flights on Mondays and Fridays between Wilmington and Fort Myers starting on February 3.
Between Wilmington and West Palm Beach
Avelo will launch twice weekly flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays between Wilmington and West Palm Beach starting on February 4.
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