America's newest airline makes first flight - and we were on it!

It’s not very often that a new airline launches, especially during a pandemic. But the US has gained its first new mainline carrier in 15 years and Key.Aero was onboard to experience its very first flight

Avelo Airlines completed its inaugural flight between Hollywood/Burbank and Sonoma County Airport earlier this week, marking the successful launch of America’s first new mainline airline in nearly 15 years.

The all-Boeing 737 operator completed the 90-minute hop between the two Californian cities, beginning the first of its 11 planned routes from the world’s film and television capital to unserved destinations across the western US. 

Boeing 737 Avelo Air
The firm operates a roster of three Boeing 737-800s from its Hollywood/Burbank base. All photos Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Avelo Air

The brainchild of former Allegiant Air executive Andrew Levy, the carrier was formed using the assets and air operators certificate of former Nevada-based Casino Express Airlines and later Xtra Airways. 

Boeing 737-800
The carrier is the brainchild of Andrew Levy, a former Allegiant Air executive. 

The airline has positioned itself with the market as an ultra-low-cost carrier with fares starting from just $19.  

Since the first flight on April 28, two more routes have been rolled out including a thrice-weekly service between Burbank and Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) in Pasco, Washington which started yesterday (April 29).  

Boeing 737
By the end of May, the operator expects to be flying to 11 destinations.

A four times weekly rotation connecting the California hub with Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport in Montana also launched today. 

By late May, Avelo expects to provide non-stop services between its initial base at Burbank and 11 destinations across the Western US, including Arcata-Eureka, Redding and Santa Rosa, California; Bend-Redmond, Eugene and Medford, Oregon; Bozeman, Montana; Grand Junction, Colorado; Pasco, Washington; Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona; and Ogden-Salt Lake City, Utah.