Budget carriers are coming to Delaware, Virginia

Big moves are happening in low-cost carrier countries, with Breeze Airways and Avelo Airlines announcing expansion plans. Some of these options are located close enough for Eastern Shore residents to consider taking advantage of for trips to Florida.

Breeze is inaugurating new routes from 15 airports, including two new cities over the winter, while Avelo said it will open a new crew base and begin service on two new routes.

Avelo will operate from New Castle Airport, Delaware (about a two-hour drive from Salisbury) from February 2023. It opened flights from Newport News, Virginia in October. Meanwhile, Breeze offers flights from Norfolk, Va. (about two and a half hours from Salisbury) and plans to add flights to Richmond in February 2023.

TRAVEL SAVINGS:Breeze Airways and Avelo Airlines announce expansion plans for this winter

Travel demand has been strong through 2022, and most executives said on recent earnings calls that they expect travelers to continue moving for the foreseeable future, even in the traditionally slower periods.

The Breeze and Avelo plans position both airlines to capture some of that demand.

Avelo in New Castle, Delaware

Avelo Airlines debuted in April 2021 with flights from Hollywood Burbank Airport in California. It positions itself as a low-cost alternative to large carriers by focusing on smaller secondary airports in larger markets. When the flights started last year, it became one of the first new airlines in the United States in the past 14 years.

Shortly after making his Burbank debut, Avelo added bases in New Haven, Connecticut and Orlando. New Castle Airport will be its fourth home base.

Avelo goes fly from New Castle airport to five destinations in Florida: Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

Avelo Airlines takes off with the first flight from Burbank to Santa Rosa at Hollywood Burbank Airport on April 28, 2021 in Burbank, California.

Avelo will have a Boeing 737 based at New Castle Airport to start. As part of its business plan, the company operates return flights each day to avoid overnight costs for crews.

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As with Allegiant and other discounters Frontier and Spirit, Avelo offers discount fares and charges extra for seat assignments and carry-on and checked baggage.

“You pay for the things you enjoy,” said Andrew Levy, founder and CEO of Avelo Airlines. He is a former Allegiant and United senior manager.

“Our super low fares and nonstop flights to five sunny Florida destinations, coupled with the fast and seamless experience at Wilmington Airport, will make traveling easier than ever,” Levy said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming everyone aboard Avelo’s (Wilmington) maiden flight in February.”

Some Avello Airlines aircraft may look familiar to travelers.  This Boeing 737-700 was from Southwest Airlines.

Orlando will be Avelo’s most frequent destination with morning flights offered on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. The airline will fly to other destinations twice a week.

Frontier, which has since retired from service at New Castle, initially flew to Orlando three times a week before cutting its schedule to twice a week. During its first go-around in Delaware, the airline flew to several other destinations, including Atlanta, Chicago and Denver.

In Virginia, the airline offers nonstop flights from Newport News-Williamsburg Airport to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale twice a week.

Avélo Airlines: what travelers need to know

  • Tickets are only sold by the airline. Book on the airline website. Those who need to call the reservation center, however, will not be charged a reservation fee as is the case with many other airlines.
  • Checked baggage fees are $10, at least at first, and cheaper than carry-on baggage fees. The going rate at major airlines is $30 to $35 for the first checked bag.
  • There is no in-flight Wi-Fi as the first flights last less than two hours. The airline is waiting for new technology before deciding whether or not to offer it on future flights, Levy said.

Breeze Airways in Virginia

The first flight to Akron-Canton Airport by Breeze Airways arrives in Green on Saturday, June 26, 2021.

In February and March, Breeze will launch 15 new routes, including the introduction of service to Cincinnati and Vero Beach, Florida.

“Breeze provides fast, efficient and affordable air service between underserved city pairs,” Breeze Airways President Tom Doxey said in a statement. “We are excited to introduce two new cities to our national route network, as we add routes from 15 cities.”

After:Breeze Airways cuts routes, service; will this affect the start of flights from Vero Beach?

Among the new flights:

  • Richmond, Virginia, to Phoenix.
  • Vero Beach, Florida to Hartford, Connecticut; White Plains, New York; and Norfolk, Virginia.

Introductory fares on new routes start at $29 for the simplest tickets and up to $199 for the airline’s “Nicest” first-class cabin, which includes carry-on and checked baggage allowances , as well as drinks and snacks.

A Breeze Airways flight attendant prepares for an early morning flight from New Orleans.

Breeze officials confirmed on October 31 that the carrier temporarily suspending service to some destinations in December due to crew availability. These 13 routes include flights between Tampa and Louisville, Kentucky; and between Columbus, Ohio and West Palm Beach. Still, the airline insists the cuts will have no impact on its plans to bring passenger air service to Vero Beach Regional Airport in February.

New Journal’s Brandon Holveck, USA TODAY’s Zach Wichter and Dawn Gilbertson, Arizona Republic’s Michael Salerno, and Treasure Coast Newspapers’ Colleen Wixon contributed to this report.

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