Upstart Avelo Airlines sees big potential in Orlando. The airline will establish a new crew and aircraft base in Central Florida, bringing new competition to the market. Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC will both see service from Orlando added, each operating 3x weekly. The carrier will also fly to Baltimore/Washington 5x weekly through the summer.
I’m looking forward to the positive economic and community impact Avelo will make in Orlando and across Florida as we increase our investment here in the years ahead.– Avelo Airlines Founder, Chairman and CEO Andrew Levy
Avelo will also boost its Orlando-New Haven route. The carrier currently operates the route daily. Beginning June 16, 2022, this will expand to three flights per day on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and two flights per day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for a total of 19 weekly flights in the market.
Two 737s will base at Orlando to begin, with plans for more as the company expands operations. Avelo plans for ten destinations served from Orlando by the end of the year.
A very different competitive environment
When Avelo launched with service from Burbank it quickly moved into the number two position in terms of destinations served, just behind Southwest Airlines. A year into operations Avelo offers the second most seats flying out of Burbank, according to Cirium schedule data for May 2022. At its New Haven base Avelo is basically everything to the airport.
In Orlando, however, things will be very, very different.
Even with ten destinations by the end of the year Avelo will trail JetBlue, Frontier, and Southwest Airline in markets served, tied with Delta for the number four position. And while some of the routes are unique to the carrier for now, even the Charleston route managed to pick up competition the day it launched. Breeze Airways announced matching service to defend its Charleston base, with more flights and a lower introductory fare, just hours after Avelo did. Silver Airways also operates the route today, though only twice weekly on a much smaller aircraft.
Moreover, the competition Avelo faces in Orlando is not just legacy carriers connecting to hubs. Frontier, Spirit, and JetBlue all operate from Orlando as a base/hub. Allegiant does the same from Sanford (SFB), just up the road. Each of these carriers can respond to the new competition in ways that are likely to be painful for Avelo’s growth goals.
Demand to Orlando is nearly infinite, easily swayed by lower fares for sun-seeking holiday makers. But as other vacation, including hotel nights and rental cars, rise, Avelo may find itself testing just how infinite that demand really is.
Avelo will also shift all of its flight attendant and pilot training to Orlando. The training efforts will consolidate to new programs facilitated by Avenger Flight Group (AFG). Avelo expects the training program to be fully implemented in the fourth quarter of 2022.
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