Big moves are happening in low-cost carrier land, with both Breeze Airways and Avelo Airlines announcing plans to expand. Some of these options are located close enough for Eastern Shore residents to consider taking advantage for trips to Florida.
Breeze is inaugurating new routes from 15 airports, including two new cities over the winter, while Avelo said it would open a new crew base and began service on two new routes.
Avelo will operate out of the New Castle, Delaware, airport (about a two-hour drive from Salisbury) beginning in February 2023. It opened flights out of Newport News, Virginia, in October. Meanwhile Breeze has flights out of Norfolk, Virginia, (about two-and-a-half hours from Salisbury) with plans to add Richmond flights in February 2023.
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Travel demand has been strong through 2022, and most executives have said during their recent earnings calls that they expect travelers to keep going places for the foreseeable future, even in traditionally slower periods.
Breeze’s and Avelo’s plans position both airlines to capture some of that demand.
Avelo in New Castle, Delaware
Avelo Airlines debuted in April 2021 with flights from the Hollywood Burbank Airport in California. It positions itself as a low-cost alternative to larger carriers with a focus on smaller, secondary airports in large markets. When flights started last year, it became one of the first new airlines in the U.S. in the last 14 years.
Shortly after getting its start in Burbank, Avelo added bases in New Haven, Connecticut and Orlando. The New Castle Airport will be its fourth home base.
Avelo will fly from the New Castle Airport to five Florida destinations: Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa and West Palm Beach.
Avelo will have one Boeing 737 based at the New Castle Airport to start. As part of its business plan, the company flies round trip each day to avoid the costs of overnighting crews.
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As with Allegiant and fellow discounters Frontier and Spirit, Avelo is offering cheap fares and charging extra for seat assignments and carry-on and checked bags.
“You pay for the things that you value,” said Andrew Levy, Avelo Airlines’ founder and CEO. He’s a former top executive at Allegiant and United.
“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,” Levy said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming everyone aboard Avelo’s first (Wilmington) flight in February.”
Orlando will be Avelo’s most frequent destination with morning flights offered on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. The airline will fly to the other destinations twice a week.
Frontier, which has since pulled out of service in New Castle, initially flew to Orlando three times per week before cutting its schedule to two times a week. In its first Delaware go-around, the airline flew to several other destinations, including Atlanta, Chicago and Denver.
In Virginia, the airline company offers nonstop flights from the Newport News-Williamsburg Airport to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale twice a week.
Avelo Airlines: Things travelers should know
- Tickets are only sold through the airline. Book on the airline’s website. Those who need to call the reservations center, though, won’t be charged a booking fee as they are by many other airlines.
- Checked bag fees are $10, at least initially, and cheaper than carry-on bag fees. The going rate at major airlines is $30 to $35 for the first checked bag.
- There is no in-flight Wi-Fi because the initial flights are under two hours. The airline is waiting for new technology before it decides whether to offer it on future flights, Levy said.
Breeze Airways in Virginia
In February and March, Breeze will inaugurate 15 new routes, including introducing service to Cincinnati and Vero Beach, Florida.
“Breeze provides fast, efficient and affordable air service between underserved city pairs,” Breeze Airways President Tom Doxey said in a statement. “We’re excited to introduce two new cities to our national route network, as we add routes from 15 cities.”
More:Breeze Airways cuts routes, service; will it affect the start of flights from Vero Beach?
Among the new flights:
- Richmond, Virginia, to Phoenix.
- Vero Beach, Florida, to Hartford, Connecticut; White Plains, New York; and Norfolk, Virginia.
Introductory fares on the new routes start at $29 for the most bare-bones tickets and up to $199 for the airline’s “Nicest” first-class cabin, which includes carry-on and checked baggage allowances, as well as drinks and snacks.
Breeze officials confirmed Oct. 31 that the carrier is temporarily suspending service to some destinations in December because of crew availability. Those 13 routes include flights between Tampa and Louisville, Kentucky; and between Columbus, Ohio and West Palm Beach. Yet the airline insists those reductions will have no impact on its plans to bring passenger airline service to the Vero Beach Regional Airport in February.
The New Journal’s Brandon Holveck, USA TODAY’s Zach Wichter and Dawn Gilbertson, Arizona Republic’s Michael Salerno, and Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Colleen Wixon contributed to this report.