A Texas-based firm led by the previous head of Allegiant Air is launching a brand new service April 28 with a map that features three weekly flights between the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco and Burbank, California.
Houston Air Holdings Inc., previously constitution service Xtra Airways, introduced the launch of Avelo Airways to fly nonstop flights from its Los Angeles-area base to 11 West Coast trip locations, together with Pasco, in early April.
The transfer fulfills an aviation consultant’s 2020 prediction that Pasco might achieve new routes as airways dropped unprofitable runs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Avelo Airways to the Tri-Cities area,” stated Buck Taft, director of airports for the Port of Pasco, which operates the native airport. He’s already purchased a ticket to take a seat within the entrance row on the primary flight.
“It’s an honor to be one of many first locations for the airline,” he stated.
Avelo’s arrival is true on schedule, coming lower than a yr after a Portland aviation advisor informed Tri-Metropolis enterprise leaders that the Covid-19 pandemic might result in alternatives for airports reminiscent of Pasco which have sturdy enterprise fashions.
It was a daring prediction by Jack Penning of Volaire Aviation Consulting, Pasco’s aviation advisor. On the time, air journey was in a state of just about complete collapse after shutdowns took maintain in April 2020.
Dropping, not gaining, flights was the preoccupying considered the day.
However in a Could 29, 2020, “Espresso with Karl” program hosted by the Tri-Metropolis Growth Council, Penning stated the native airport might achieve new routes and even see airways restore the misplaced connection to Portland as they dropped unprofitable routes for ones frequented by enterprise and authorities officers.
Avelo isn’t restoring the Pasco-to-Portland hyperlink, however its launch seems to affirm Penning’s perception that disruption might usher in alternative.
A yr later, he cheered information that the brand new airline is beginning and that Pasco is among the airports it should serve. He even supplied a brand new prediction: Avelo will succeed with its emphasis on low-cost, nonstop flights catering to leisure vacationers.
“I believe Burbank is a terrific airport within the LA Basin,” he stated. “The Tri-Cities has lengthy been working to safe year-round service to LA, and this service ought to work nicely for most of the area’s vacationers.”
Andrew Levy, a former Allegiant Air and United Airways government, is the brand new CEO for Houston Air Holdings. “Avelo Airways” is the advertising and marketing identify for the previous constitution operator.
Levy is an aviation trade veteran with a regulation diploma from Emery College and a background in investments, based on a 2016 doc filed with the U.S. Securities and Trade Fee, when he was appointed government vice chairman and chief monetary officer of United Continental Holdings Inc.
Two years earlier, he left Allegiant Journey Co. with a $650,000 lump sum cost and $8.5 million for his inventory shares and choices, based on a separate SEC doc.
Levy and Houston Air Holdings raised $88 million of almost $89 million sought to launch the airline, based on a Kind D filed with the SEC in January 2020. The SEC tracks personal investments in addition to publicly traded corporations.
Levy’s Avelo workforce consists of former executives from Delta Air Strains, Frontier Airways, Hawaiian Airways, JetBlue Airways, Northwest Airways and Spirit Airways.
Its fleet consists of 159-seat Boeing 737-800 plane, configured as a single class and decked out in purple, yellow, white and blue livery.
Avelo casts the Burbank airport as a stress-free option to entry Los Angeles and its theme parks, seashores and Hollywood scorching spots.
Introductory fares start at $19, with add-on charges for each checked and carry-on luggage, window and aisle seating, precedence boarding, pets and different providers.
The brand new airline arrives as Pasco, like airports all over the place, struggles to regain its footing after air journey bottomed out in 2020.
The Pasco airport recorded almost 189,000 boardings in 2020, down 51% from the yr prior. It had been on a progress tear previous to Covid-19, posting three years of consecutive file progress, topping out at 438,100 in 2019.
Pasco boardings stay nicely beneath regular within the first two months of the yr. The had been down 43% and 34% in January and February, relative to a yr earlier, based on the port’s month-to-month airline exercise report.
Penning, the advisor, believes the numbers will enhance. Air journey is ticking up as extra People are vaccinated and seeking to reconnect with household and mates.
“These vacationers are searching for good fares and nonstop flights – to cut back contact factors – so Avelo’s service is more likely to meet with success,” he stated.
Burbank will function Avelo’s hub, with flights to Bend/Redmond, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; Eugene, Oregon; Grand Junction, Colorado; Medford, Oregon; Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona; Ogden, Utah; and Arcata/Eureka, Redding and Santa Rosa, all in California.