Washington Times

2 new airlines await Americans looking to fly somewhere

Americans are traveling in the greatest numbers in more than a year, and soon they will have two new leisure-oriented airlines to consider for those trips.

Both hope to draw passengers by filling in smaller strands on the spider web of airline routes crisscrossing the United States.

Avelo Airlines said Thursday that it will begin flying later this month to 11 destinations from Burbank, California. The startup plans to add other routes in the West as soon as it grows its fleet of three Boeing 737 jets.

Avelo was started by longtime airline executive Andrew Levy, who thinks there is room for another low-fare carrier besides the several budget airlines already in the market.

Waiting in the wings is Breeze Airways, the latest creation of David Neeleman, who helped start Canada’s WestJet before founding JetBlue Airways and the Brazilian airline Azul.

According to regulatory filings, Breeze plans to fly to “neglected, forgotten” markets, including many that larger airlines have abandoned. Breeze is currently running proving flights for the Federal Aviation Administration and could announce details around routes and fares as soon as next week and be carrying passengers in May.

The planning for both airlines started before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but they are starting up just as long-homebound Americans look to break out and travel like it’s 2019 again. More than 1 million Americans have been flying each day for nearly a month now, and numbers are expected to rise even more this summer.

The last new U.S. airline was Virgin America, which began flying in 2007 and disappeared after Alaska Airlines bought it for $2.6 billion in 2016.

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