Avelo Airlines will add four new destinations to its map this summer, including the first commercial flights to Lakeland, Florida, in more than a decade.

The Houston-based budget airline said on 28 March it will connect its base in New Haven to Lakeland and to St Louis from 13 June. Avelo will also begin flights from New Haven to Houston Hobby airport from 14 June and to Traverse City, Michigan from 15 June. All four destinations are new for Avelo.

The expansion will reinforce New Haven as Avelo’s primary base and further fuel the city’s air-travel resurgence.

By June, Avelo will operate up to 18 daily departures from the airport, located on the Connecticut coast about halfway between New York and Hartford, Cirium Diio schedules show. Burbank, California is Avelo’s second busiest base with up to eight daily departures, followed by Wilmington, Delaware.

The carrier’s growth in New Haven is a major turnaround for the airport. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, American Airlines was the only airline serving the airport, with several regional flights daily to Philadelphia. The Oneworld alliance carrier suspended service to New Haven during the pandemic. The airport now plans to build a new six-gate terminal and lengthen its main runway to accommodate Avelo’s growth. However, the plans face delays amid local opposition.

Avelo intends to operate the additional New Haven routes twice weekly, except for the New Haven-Traverse City flights, which it will operate on Saturdays only.

The airline, with a fleet of 16 Boeing 737NGs, faces no competition on any of the routes, Cirium Diio schedules show.


Source: Avelo Airlines

Avelo Airlines expands its New Haven base with four more destinations beginning in June

Lakeland, located about 36 miles (58km) west of Tampa and about 50 miles southwest of Orlando, will support Avelo’s new flights with marketing incentives and airport upgrades worth more than $6 million over five years.

“This is just the start of Avelo’s partnership with [Lakeland] and Central Florida,” Avelo chief executive Andrew Levy says, suggesting additional routes could materialise.

Lakeland last had commercial airline service from scheduled charter carrier Direct Air, which flew there in 2011 and 2012, Cirium data shows. Prior, the airport’s last commercial air service was in the 1980s.

Avelo reported its first pre-tax profit in the fourth quarter of 2023. The budget airline, which is not publicly traded, generated revenue of $265 million during the period. It did not disclose expenses. 

The carrier is growing rapidly this year, especially at New Haven.

In addition to the flights disclosed on 28 March, Avelo plans in May to add flights from New Haven to Atlanta, Concord (North Carolina), Destin-Fort Walton Beach (Florida), and Knoxville. In February, it launched New Haven-Wilmington service. The airline’s plans call for it to serve 21 destinations from New Haven.

Separately, Avelo on 22 March applied to the US Department of Transportation to begin scheduled flights to both the Dominican Republic and Mexico. 

Capacity at Avelo will be up nearly 13% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2024, Cirium Diio schedules show.