Michael Goldstein –

Start-up airlines like Avelo Airlines don’t get the press coverage that larger ones do. Big airlines make splashy billion dollar deals like the announced $1.9 billion purchase of Hawaiian Airlines by Alaska Air.

But the steady growth of start-up Avelo Airlines is newsworthy in itself. Avelo hasn’t cracked the ranks of the airline Big Four (United, Delta, Southwest and American) but this low-fare ‘little airline that could’ is certainly growing its route map, now serving over 40 U.S. destinations.

Avelo also flies to Puerto Rico though the Greater Philadelphia/Delaware Valley’s Wilmington Airport (ILG), which Avelo calls a “convenient and travel-friendly alternative” to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The airline describes these jaunts over the Atlantic to the Caribbean as its first non-continental U.S. service.

We found one-way flights from New Haven to San Juan at AveloAir.com for as low as $131, although some winter flights are already sold out. The airline’s low-fare model includes charging additional fees for such services as seat selection, priority boarding, carry-on bags and checked luggage.

The airline is tapping two of the largest US airline markets (New York and Philadelphia) for family and leisure travelers. The new flights to the island should appeal to two of America’s largest Puerto Rican communities.

Avelo operates both routes twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays, utilizing Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft.

America’s first new mainline airline in nearly 15 years, Avelo launched flights in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2021. To make it happen, the airline had to create a training program for flight attendants that they went through for weeks in quarantine.

The inaugural flight, from Burbank to Charles Schultz in Santa Rosa, took place April 28, 2021.The airline, which originally took flight with three used Boeing 737 aircraft, now has 16 of the planes.

Since then, Avelo has flown more than 3.5 million passengers on over 27,000 flights. Avelo flies to a growing list of destinations in both the Eastern and Western US, often bringing full size airliner service to regional airports for the first time. Avelo serves 44 destinations in 23 states and now, Puerto Rico.