Avelo Airlines begins service at McCarran International Airport

Avelo Airlines caused a stir in Las Vegas on Thursday.

The Houston-based airline, founded and run by a former Allegiant Air executive, landed on time on its maiden flight to Las Vegas from Santa Rosa, Calif., And sailed under an arch of ceremonial water as he entered a gate at McCarran International Airport. .

A return flight left McCarran Thursday afternoon for Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, near the wine country of northern California.

The company is promoting its Las Vegas service with introductory one-way fares purchased before September 29, starting at $ 29 and available on flights through January 11.

Round trips between Sonoma County and Las Vegas will be operated on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays on 189-seat Boeing 737-800 jets.

But Avelo founder and CEO Andrew Levy hinted in an interview Thursday that there may be more flights to Las Vegas in the new airline’s future.

“Las Vegas is a single market with unlimited demand so I can say it’s highly likely that we will do more there,” said Levy, who spent 14 years at Allegiant where he became president of the company.

Levy has recruited several other former Allegiant executives for Avelo, including Greg Baden, COO, Todd Cinnamon, Chief Information Officer, and Sean Hopkins, Head of Contracts.

Avelo launched its maiden flight in April with a schedule that includes round trips from its operational hub at Hollywood Burbank Airport to Sonoma, Redding and Eureka, California; Medford, Eugene and Bend, Oregon; Ogden and Provo, Utah; Pasco, Washington; and Fort Collins, Colorado.

In December, Avelo will replicate its West Coast flight schedule, using New Haven, Connecticut, as a hub with round-trip flights to five destinations in Florida: Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers.

On the East Coast, Avelo will operate 147-seat Boeing 737-700 jets. The airline currently has three 737-800s and three 737-700s in its fleet. Two more 800s and two more 700s will be added later in the year.

The planes were bought or leased from Southwest Airlines, which is substituting some of its 800 and 700 series planes for the MAX 7 and MAX 8 jets.

Levy credits the hard work of the company’s “wonderful management team” and its 220 employees for the successful launch of an airline in the midst of a pandemic. He said once Avelo begins operations on the East Coast, the number of employees will increase to around 300. No employees are based in Las Vegas, but that could change if operations grow. Avelo is currently contracting for its ground operations at McCarran.

Levy said he adopted operational strategies that he liked from his competitors and that he hired workers who can implement those strategies. The company has adopted the “Soul of Service” culture based on a “One Crew” mindset that promotes teamwork, kindness and good deeds.

Levy said Avelo is a name agreed upon by his management team that mixes up “avenue”, connoting the hometown aspect of flights to small secondary airports, with “speed”.

The company plans to launch a “Hello Avelo” campaign to help customers learn airline pronunciation.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. To follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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