Avelo Air Brings Airline Service Back To Delaware

Avelo Air Brings Airline Service Back To Delaware

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Ultra low cost carrier startup Avelo Air has just announced it’s setting up a base in Wilmington, Delaware, and this is noteworthy for one major reason.

Delaware is the only state without commercial air service

Delaware is currently the only state in the United States without commercial air service. While Wilmington Airport (ILG) has an airport capable of commercial service, airlines just haven’t been able to make the economics work, it seems.

In the past decade, the only airline to fly to Wilmington has been Frontier Airlines. Frontier flew from Wilmington from 2013 until 2015, but then pulled out, as the airline claimed it wasn’t a profitable market.

Frontier eventually decided to restart service to Wilmington, and most recently launched flights there in February 2021. However, the airline once again ended service in June 2022, after still not being able to make service to the state work.

Ultimately service to Delaware is a tough sell, when Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is just a 30-minute drive away. Nowadays the most exciting service the airport gets is when President Biden travels there to visit his home.

Wilmington Airport has no commercial air service

Avelo Air is setting up a base in Wilmington, Delaware

Avelo Air is an ultra low cost carrier that launched operations in 2021. The airline pledged to primarily operate routes that other airlines wouldn’t operate, and I think this is the prime example of that.

Avelo Air is opening its fourth base in Wilmington, Delaware (other bases are in Burbank, New Haven, and Orlando). The airline plans to base one Boeing 737-800 there initially, creating at least 35 jobs in the local community.

Avelo Air intends to launch Delaware service as of February 2023, flying from Wilmington (ILG) to the following airports:

  • 3x weekly to Orlando (MCO) as of February 1, 2023
  • 2x weekly to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) as of February 2, 2023
  • 2x weekly to Tampa (TPA) as of February 2, 2023
  • 2x weekly to Fort Myers (RSW) as of February 2, 2023
  • 2x weekly to West Palm Beach (PBI) as of February 4, 2023

The airline is hoping this new base in Wilmington will capture people from the entire Delaware Valley, encompassing portions of Delaware, Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and the northern Eastern Shore of Maryland.

It’s so awesome to see an airline add service like this, to a state and airport that don’t otherwise have service. I hope that Avelo Air has better luck than Frontier Airlines did. I think one strength for Avelo Air will be that the airline is happy offering service just a couple of days per week, while Frontier Airlines is more focused on markets that can sustain daily service. I also suspect that Avelo Air is receiving significant subsidies for this service, which should help as well.

Avelo Air is starting service to Delaware

With this latest update, below is what Avelo Air’s routemap will look like.

Avelo Air routemap

Bottom line

Avelo Air is setting up a base in Wilmington, Delaware, which is significant since the airport and state don’t otherwise currently have any commercial air service. Wilmington Airport has only otherwise had service from Frontier in the past decade, but the airline pulled out of that market twice, citing unprofitability. Hopefully Avelo Air has better luck!

What do you make of Avelo Air expanding to Delaware?

Conversations (26)
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  1. Charlene Guest

    Commercial Flights much needed for Delaware; hoping the start of flights to Florida will lead to flights to other destinations in the US.

  2. Sonja Guest

    Avelo coming to Delaware would be Great!!! I believe if they advertise on a consistent basis they will be successful, also if they expand there destinations other than Florida that would be even better. As a resident of De. I'm so looking forward to the addition.

  3. DELDEN F. MILLER Guest

    Personally I think it's great rather than fighting traffic and when you get there the long lines and being late for a flight ✈️ a ways from 4oclock am 5 it's crazy good luck to you

  4. CHRIS Guest

    Why all Florida destinations? Spread it around. I think there would be much interest in New Orleans, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Memphis, Chicago, San Antonio and maybe a mid western city, like St Louis. I think you have to look at Philly flights and maybe pluck some routes where there are connections and make a market for non stop, an example might be Key West nonstop as competitors all require you to go through a hub.

  5. Scott Guest

    I'm surprised you didn't mention ILG also having appeal to Northeastern Maryland residents. The combined populations of Harford County (with growing Bel Air, MD) and Cecil County are 350,000. For most of these people, Wilmington would be the same or less travel time than reaching BWI. Add that to the other areas you mentioned, and there's a pretty decent catchment area for this airport.

  6. Linda Guest

    They are only offering flights to places not many really travel to in my opinion. I travel to Texas at least three times a year and because I don’t care for either Philly or Baltimore with all the layovers you have to have in order to get a good deal on tickets so we drive. It would be nice to go from Delaware to Texas but that’s just me.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      “in my opinion” and “that’s just me” are my favorite kinds of statistical analysis!

      I love when OMAAT randos think they know better than professional airline schedulers.

    2. Evan Guest

      And I love it when Never In Doubt takes time out of his busy schedule to clutter up the comments further.

      Keep up the good fight, NID. Someday you'll vanquish every wayward commenter.

    3. Chris P Bacon Guest

      Yet here you are, following up on NID's comments.

      It's fair game when someone makes a comment that they don't think people fly from the Philadelphia area to Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Myers. They have clearly surrendered all credibility.

    4. Evan Guest

      Mr. Bacon, I view it as my special mandate to troll a troll from time to time. Thanks for understanding.

    5. Confused Guest

      You drive to Texas because of layovers required out of Philly and Baltimore? Philadelphia has non-stop service to Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. BWI offers service to most major cities as well.

  7. Icarus Guest

    When there’s another major airport 30 mins away it is ridiculous, especially for environmental reasons.

    Wilmington is 50kms from Philadelphia. There’s no need for a commercial airport.

    Birmingham is 150kms from London and there are trains, buses and rail.

    1. chasgoose Guest

      Yet Birmingham still has a bustling international airport that was servicing over 12 million passengers annually before the pandemic...

      It would be one thing if Avelo was offering flights to PHL or BWI or even DCA, but they aren't. Also, Avelo wouldn't be starting these flights if they didn't think the area had a market to support these new flights in addition to the ones already available from PHL/BWI to the announced destinations. Unless these...

      Yet Birmingham still has a bustling international airport that was servicing over 12 million passengers annually before the pandemic...

      It would be one thing if Avelo was offering flights to PHL or BWI or even DCA, but they aren't. Also, Avelo wouldn't be starting these flights if they didn't think the area had a market to support these new flights in addition to the ones already available from PHL/BWI to the announced destinations. Unless these flights go out empty or cannibalize enough passengers so that existing flights go out empty, I don't really see the environmental impact issue. If it attracts people closer to ILM that would have driven further to PHL/BWI, then wouldn't it cause those people to drive less to get to the airport?

      Also, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for trains/buses to be a feasible way of getting from the Delaware Valley region to Florida for most people.

    2. Confused Guest

      Avelo does also service ILM but we're talking about ILG here, no?

    3. Never In Doubt Guest

      "especially for environmental reasons”

      Nonsense.

      You can’t be referring to the flights. No different environmental impact than if they flew from PHL (maybe less if ground time is shorter).

      I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt you’re referring to getting to the airport. How could you possibly know the ground travel patterns of the people who’d choose this airport vs BWI, PHL or others?

  8. monopod Guest

    Perhaps with multiple rail options to get to Philly and connect to PHL, air service is just not needed.

    (You still have to backtrack from PHL into downtown before changing train out to Delaware, easily adding 30 min to the trip. Sounds like some easy service improvement here.)

  9. Janice Guest

    I would love it if they would go from Wilmington, Delaware to New Haven, Connecticut!!!

  10. Alonzo Diamond

    Anyone who has lived in the area like myself, knows this is great news. Especially with PHL being an absolute train wreck dumpster fire.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Always wondered, wouldn't Trenton be a better alternative than Wilmington?

    2. MG Guest

      Frontier has that little airport stuffed with flights I believe.

    3. 305 Guest

      Frontier has seemed to make TTN work. Decent amount of frequencies, destinations, an employment base, etc. What used to be 4-5x weekly service to MCO is now 2x daily. Just need a new terminal...

    4. Evan Guest

      Eskimo, certainty TTN doesn't work for the Delaware Valley crowd that lives south of the Philadelphia metro.

      PHL and ILG are very close to each other, but they could serve different people the same way DCA and BWI serve different people.

    5. Eskimo Guest

      @Evan, I know it captures the Delaware Valley crowd, but from an airline stand point, TTN serves a much larger market right?
      DCA isn't a good comparison to me because of it's capacity vs demand mismatch. If you switch DCA and BWI size, then airlines likely wouldn't bother flying to BWI more than into RDU or CLE. It's like EWR without UA located at SWF.

  11. MG Guest

    The ease and convenience will be nice, but with PHL being 19 miles away, who knows if they too will survive here.

  12. JackG Member

    You probably mean Southeastern PA, right? Little far to drive over from Pittsburgh.

    Great news for the area!

  13. Jayayess1190 Guest

    Delaware Valley is Southeastern PA (Philly), not Southwestern.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Confused Guest

You drive to Texas because of layovers required out of Philly and Baltimore? Philadelphia has non-stop service to Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. BWI offers service to most major cities as well.

1
chasgoose Guest

Yet Birmingham still has a bustling international airport that was servicing over 12 million passengers annually before the pandemic... It would be one thing if Avelo was offering flights to PHL or BWI or even DCA, but they aren't. Also, Avelo wouldn't be starting these flights if they didn't think the area had a market to support these new flights in addition to the ones already available from PHL/BWI to the announced destinations. Unless these flights go out empty or cannibalize enough passengers so that existing flights go out empty, I don't really see the environmental impact issue. If it attracts people closer to ILM that would have driven further to PHL/BWI, then wouldn't it cause those people to drive less to get to the airport? Also, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for trains/buses to be a feasible way of getting from the Delaware Valley region to Florida for most people.

1
Charlene Guest

Commercial Flights much needed for Delaware; hoping the start of flights to Florida will lead to flights to other destinations in the US.

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