Avelo Airlines Setting Up First East Coast Base In New Haven

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Avelo Airlines is the newest airline in the USA. The airline launched operations last week, initially flying from Burbank to 11 destinations on the West Coast, while offering incredibly low fares. The airline has now announced its first East Coast base.

Avelo Airlines expanding East in third quarter

Avelo Airlines will be setting up its first East Coast base at Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN). The airline will start operations at the airport in the third quarter of 2021, hoping to bring choice, low fares, and convenience, to Southern Connecticut.

The airline is investing $1.2 million into the airport to help upgrade and modernize facilities and operations. The airline will also employe more than 100 crew members at the airport by the end of the year, including pilots, flight attendants, customer support personnel, and technicians. More details about the Avelo base operations and destinations served by Avelo at the airport will be revealed in the coming months.

Avelo’s investment is part of a $100 million project that the airport has for a new terminal, and an extension of the runway at the airport.

As Avelo Airlines CEO Andrew Levy describes this decision:

“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.”

Avelo Airlines flies Boeing 737-800s with 189 seats

My take on Avelo’s New Haven base

Avelo Airlines is an ultra low cost carrier, and we knew from the beginning that the airline intends to primarily serve markets that aren’t served by other airlines.

Avelo started operations by setting up a base in Burbank. Los Angeles is a major market, and Hollywood Burbank Airport is an incredibly convenient airport for so many people. While Avelo’s routes were largely unique, the airport as such was already fairly well served.

The new base in New Haven is much more fascinating and riskier, if you ask me. For context, Tweed New Haven Airport serves just around 50,000 passengers per year, and the airport has a single commercial route, on American Eagle to Philadelphia.

There’s so much potential value here, but also risk:

  • Avelo is run by some smart people, and I’m sure they’ve run the numbers on the markets that they plan to launch, and they believe this will make sense
  • At the same time, it’s fascinating to essentially set up a base at an airport that otherwise doesn’t get much service
  • I’m sure the cost structure for Avelo at the airport is amazing, and much lower than in Burbank
  • Tweed New Haven Airport is just under an hour drive (around 55 miles) from Hartford-Bradley International Airport, so presumably the airline is primarily hoping to poach passengers who would otherwise fly out of there; the airport is also just a few miles from Yale, so I’m sure this will be popular with college students

I can’t wait to see what kind of routes Avelo launches. My money is on there being a focus on Florida, as there is for so many airlines nowadays.

This will be the most air service New Haven has ever had

Bottom line

Avelo Airlines has revealed its first East Coast base, which will be at Tweed New Haven Airport. This is a small airport that currently gets very little service, and it’s just under an hour drive from Hartford. The airline is betting on South Connecticut and the surrounding area, and I hope the bet pays off.

I can’t wait to see what routes the airline plans on launching from here.

What do you make of Avelo Airlines setting up a base in New Haven?

Conversations (28)
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  1. Peter

    As someone who lives ~15 minutes from BDL and ~40 minutes from HVN, it wouldn't take much of a discount to draw me to use HVN if their destinations/times are good. Pretty happy to see this. Now hopefully Breeze takes up operations at one of the local airports too.

  2. Sosie

    If they will offer real cheap tickets they can get a lot of traffic from New York

  3. Steve

    Tweed is just over 4 miles from Yale making it extremely convenient for students, faculty, researchers etc. Plus a lot of people live along the coast and between Norwalk and New London. Even for Stamford/Grenwich it would be better the pain of getting to LGA.

  4. BK

    Glad to have one more holiday commute option :)

  5. Rob

    Interesting choice. For suburbs north of New York and in southwestern CT, HVN seems ideally situated to capture some passengers, who otherwise would be choosing between limited flight options out of HPN or making the lengthy and inconvenient trek to Newark, LaGuardia, or JFK. They must be banking on capturing some of those folks, in addition to some passengers who would otherwise choose to fly out of Hartford.

  6. albert

    How the heck are they going to get a full 189 seat 737 off the ground at Tweed????

  7. Lukas

    "...and we KNEW from the beginning..."

  8. Ryan

    I hope they expand too quickly and fold with haste. The last thing we need are more bottom feeder airlines offering cut rate fares. Ultimately, if this results in reduced service from BDL, it is a loss.

  9. Sean

    Could work- nothing’s really convenient for the people living in southern and western CT. There’s also a lot of wealth there, so a discount airline seems like it leaves future opportunities if the runway can actually handle a plane with two cabins.

    Good transit between Trumbull street and Tweed would be a game changer, but my dear home state is maaaaybe not so great with investing in public transportation.

  10. Russ

    HVN is a tiny airport. That being said I frequently have to pay a premium to fly to BDL vs. BOS and hopefully something good would come out of it. I don't know how much parking is available there either.

  11. Christian

    I work in the area and live a little south from there and reality is the only real options around here are Bradley, JFK, LGA and EWR. There is a small airport in White Plains (Westchester - HPN) that I use whenever I can on direct flights so I think New Haven could work out well for them. If you fly out of JFK, LGA, EWR and to some extent BDL you have to plan...

    I work in the area and live a little south from there and reality is the only real options around here are Bradley, JFK, LGA and EWR. There is a small airport in White Plains (Westchester - HPN) that I use whenever I can on direct flights so I think New Haven could work out well for them. If you fly out of JFK, LGA, EWR and to some extent BDL you have to plan in traffic on the road, parking, etc....so HVN (like HPN) could be seen as an option by many just out of convenience.

  12. Motion to Dismiss

    Ben, I think the reason the airport serves so few passengers is because there are only 1-2 commercial flights, only on AA to PHL. This is absolutely a case of "build it and they will come." The market is there. When I was a Yale student I flew out of BDL, JFK, or EWR to get nonstop flights but would have loved to be able to fly out of Tweed. I just wish this was a full-service carrier with F.

  13. Jerry

    Students at Yale flying a low cost carrier... That's funny.

  14. Brian

    I echo some of Motion to Dismiss's sentiments (as a fellow Yale alum), but I wonder how many destinations have enough demand to support daily flights from HVN. Yale student/faculty travel isn't focused on a few specific destinations.

    That said, I wish Avelo success since the AA/US turboprop flights to Philadelphia were among the first to get canceled in the event of bad weather, which made flying in and out HVN risky in terms of scheduling.

  15. tipsyinmadras

    Pleased for my hometown but until the runway is lengthened from its current 5600’ - which has historically severely limited service - they’re cutting it awfully close.

  16. Ryan

    Also, the AA flight to PHL is designed to connect with the rest of AA's network. If bringing a ULCC into HVN causes AA to pull out of the market because yields drop too much, then you've traded access to a worldwide network for a few leisure-only routes to secondary market. That's without question a loss.

  17. BJ

    Over the last few years in it's lobbying and lawsuits to lengthen the runway, Tweed has been saying that Allegiant wanted to fly A319s to Florida is the runway were long enough. So Avelo had probably effectively been in discussions with the airport since before it was founded. 737s will probably be weight restricted for now, but the NH Register is claiming that the airport can now extend the runway using private funds without further...

    Over the last few years in it's lobbying and lawsuits to lengthen the runway, Tweed has been saying that Allegiant wanted to fly A319s to Florida is the runway were long enough. So Avelo had probably effectively been in discussions with the airport since before it was founded. 737s will probably be weight restricted for now, but the NH Register is claiming that the airport can now extend the runway using private funds without further approval from the state or East Haven (which have been the main blockers).

    BDL is an hour or so from New Haven by cab, and much longer by train. The NY airports are 3 hours once you factor in the trial of serious traffic cropping up suddenly at any hour. So there are a lot of people in the area for whom HVN is far, far more convenient than any alternatives. That includes many very wealthy people, but even more for whom cheap flights from a closer airport will be a game changer.

    AA regular filled three flights a day to PHL and a weekly to Charlotte pre-pandemic. Avelo is more likely to expand the market than cannibalize their passengers.

  18. Ryan R

    Great idea! New Haven is currently horribly far from any decent airport. Residents routinely take a 2.5 hour van ride to JFK or LGA to get flights. BDL of course is closer but doesn't have as many flights nor as much van service (for those of us without cars or who don't want to pay for airport parking). If they can get a good array of flights at HVN, it will be a game changer.

  19. Hardik

    Somehow feel this is not a great move. Why not just use BDL which has decent infrastructure to expand options and put pressure on competitors there rather than invest more in a smaller airport. Probably could use that extra $1.2 million somewhere else in their operations. Not sure how much of the NY/NJ crowd there are going to be able to steal to make it worthwhile.

  20. Tory

    This is all about the well-off families of southwest CT and really has nothing to do with BDL. If they want to fly out one morning, they can fight a very painful rush hour to LGA/JFK/EWR, or go contra-flow to HVN. Easy choice If Avelo offers a nonstop where they want to go...

  21. chasgoose

    As another Yale alum who flew out of HVN whenever I could (the glory days of the DL flights to CVG AND the US flights to PHL made that easier) and also who briefly lived in Fairfield County as a child, I think this is a smart move. HVN’s capture area includes pretty much all of southern CT and can take from the NYC airports, BDL, and PVD. It’s never been that successful because you...

    As another Yale alum who flew out of HVN whenever I could (the glory days of the DL flights to CVG AND the US flights to PHL made that easier) and also who briefly lived in Fairfield County as a child, I think this is a smart move. HVN’s capture area includes pretty much all of southern CT and can take from the NYC airports, BDL, and PVD. It’s never been that successful because you are usually charged a premium to fly into HVN over all of those other places. This would change that. Not to mention that, LA is probably a close second to NYC in terms of where Yale students come from. If they could manage a HVN-BUR flight they would make a lot of money.

    The other thing is that HVN as it currently exists is super easy to navigate, which would also be appealing to those who might otherwise choose an NYC airport in the southern CT area. Also BDL only has seasonal service to LAX, so a HVN-BUR flight would also be appealing on that front.

  22. IAN ANDERSON

    Yale will be a huge market for Avelo. University students will fly at ANY time of day, if the price is ok, so maybe some back of clock timings will work & give Averlo better utilisation of aircraft.

  23. craig

    think convenience is lost in discussion.

    I think it total fare was the same(checked bag included), who would want to fly from awful big airports like LAX & DEN, when they could fly BUR/GJT, even if they lived closer to DEN than GJT. GJT is much closer to most Colorado ski resorts, than DEN, when take into account time wasted at both LAX & DEN. Look at DEN - often aircraft have to wait for...

    think convenience is lost in discussion.

    I think it total fare was the same(checked bag included), who would want to fly from awful big airports like LAX & DEN, when they could fly BUR/GJT, even if they lived closer to DEN than GJT. GJT is much closer to most Colorado ski resorts, than DEN, when take into account time wasted at both LAX & DEN. Look at DEN - often aircraft have to wait for a gate. Then you have to walk to train & wait, get to baggage claim & wait. Wait for a rental car bus & then wait in line at rental car desk. This can easily chew up an hour or more. At GJT everything is right there, gate, bags, rental cars & parking at airport $10/day & off airport very close $5/day

  24. Sam

    Can’t wait to see where they fly. Service to Chicago, DC, and Florida would do well. BDL is over an hour away and expensive,LGA and JFK are the same distance but you have to add in extra time for traffic or leave the house at 230am.

  25. LB

    You're not going too get a 737-800 into HVN if the breaking action is less than good. Lots of cancellations on weather days. A runway that short would have a lot of weight restriction penalties and very reduced fuel load. Also climb considerations taking off on Runway 20

    It is the wrong plane for that airport, If the wind is out the north at more than 10 knots it is a "no-go"!

    Levy should know this already..... Be very surprised if the FAA ever approved this

  26. Tory

    LB: part of the airport upgrades include a runway extension.

  27. Johnasousa

    It's very simple for me fly to Vero Beach or Melbourne FL. Should be easy to work something out with one of these airports. You can fill 2/ 3 planes
    Per day both ways.

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Johnasousa

It's very simple for me fly to Vero Beach or Melbourne FL. Should be easy to work something out with one of these airports. You can fill 2/ 3 planes Per day both ways.

Tory

LB: part of the airport upgrades include a runway extension.

LB

You're not going too get a 737-800 into HVN if the breaking action is less than good. Lots of cancellations on weather days. A runway that short would have a lot of weight restriction penalties and very reduced fuel load. Also climb considerations taking off on Runway 20 It is the wrong plane for that airport, If the wind is out the north at more than 10 knots it is a "no-go"! Levy should know this already..... Be very surprised if the FAA ever approved this

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