canada africa partner reservation Comments from airlines: Avelo extends schedule until November; American heads to the French Riviera

Comments from airlines: Avelo extends schedule until November; American heads to the French Riviera

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Avelo Airlines has extended its flight schedule from Wilmington Airport (ILG) and other destinations until early November.

There don’t seem to be any new destinations on the horizon in Delaware. Service to Sarasota, Florida, will resume in early November, and biweekly flights to Myrtle Beach returned earlier this month.

The good news here is that unlike the gloom and doom crowd checking in on social media, Avelo is maintaining a steady schedule as it works to grow brand awareness in the Delaware Valley. Avelo primarily uses word of mouth, billboards and social media, but gets free publicity through Wilmington service announcements.

Avelo reported profits in the first quarter, giving it time to build its market presence. Avelo also ranks first or second in the U.S. airline industry for fewest canceled or delayed flights. Rival Frontier is in last place.

Avelo is expected to receive four additional Boeing jets this year, which could open the door to new destinations. Currently, the airline is focusing on adding flights from its main East Coast hub, New Haven, CT, and launching a hub in Santa Rosa, on the edge of the San Francisco region market.

Avelo is the first airline to offer more than one destination from Wilmington over an extended period of time. About a decade ago, Frontier Airlines added several cities to ILG, but quickly withdrew service.

Avelo has already demonstrated that commercial airline service can work in Wilmington, as long as rates are competitive and the airline and airport operator have low-cost structures. The wildcard concerns the costs of aviation fuel. The expansion has also been hampered by delays in the delivery of new Boeing jets. That, in turn, is leading airlines to hold on to older Boeing 737s that Avelo wants to add to its fleet.

Meanwhile, Frontier continues to expand from Philadelphia International Airport and is now targeting expensive destinations such as Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Charlotte.

Further down the I-95 corridor, Baltimore-Washington Airport is seeing more and more airlines expanding their flight schedules. That includes Avelo, which resumed seasonal service to Wilmington, NC, and Spirit, which took on Southwest by adding flights to Portland, ME, Boston, San Diego and New Orleans.

America strengthens transatlantic services

American Airlines added daily flights to the French Riviera this week with a daily flight to Nice.

“The Philadelphia hub serves as America’s gateway to Europe, and we are proud of the critical role we play in connecting customers from across the U.S. to fourteen European destinations this summer,” said Lakshman Amaranayaka, American’s vice president of PHL Hub Operations. “Our inaugural service to Nice is the first of three new transatlantic routes launching from PHL this year, reinforcing our commitment to the region and to building the world’s best network.”

Next month, American will launch new nonstop service from PHL to Naples and Copenhagen.

American will offer 15 daily nonstop flights from PHL to 14 European destinations this summer, marking the largest transatlantic schedule from Philly since 2019. American serves 70 domestic destinations from PHL, down from its peak. Fuel prices and a pilot shortage that has since eased contributed to the cuts.

There were fears that the Americans would not restore the transatlantic service lost during the Covid pandemic, partly as a result

The expansion could have been more aggressive. However, problems with the supply of Boeing jets have affected US and other airlines. There were fears that America would not restore the transatlantic service lost during the Covid pandemic, partly due to the plane problem.

Frontier, Volaris back to code sharing

Finally, Frontier resumed a code-sharing agreement with Volaris, a Mexican low-cost carrier with shared roots. Indigo Partners owns part of both budget airlines. Indigo has indicated that it will no longer have a controlling interest in Frontier following a previously announced share transaction.

U.S. government restrictions ended an earlier code-sharing arrangement, but have since been lifted.

The agreement means a passenger can book a connecting Volaris flight to Mexico City through the Frontier website.

How this will play out for passengers in Philadelphia remains unclear. A few flights on the schedule took 16 hours, thanks to long layovers.

Meanwhile, Frontier registered the name Frontera, sparking a wave of speculation about future uses of the word that means virtually the same thing in Spanish and English. – Doug Rainey