Startup Avelo announces its 4th crew base, and its 2nd in Florida

Avelo Airlines is growing and has its sights set on the Sunshine State.

The Houston-headquartered ultra-low-cost carrier on Thursday announced that its fourth crew base will be at the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), near Fort Myers, and will open this fall.

“The opening of Avelo’s fourth base in Fort Myers this fall will enable us to serve more destinations, add more flights, operate more airplanes, fly more Customers and employ more Crewmembers,” Avelo CEO Andrew Levy said in a statement. “Based on the success of our initial route between Southern Connecticut and Fort Myers, we have announced four additional destinations that will take flight from RSW this fall – creating a meaningful source of new visitors to Southwest Florida. This is just the beginning.”

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The carrier’s recent wave of expansion has had a strong emphasis on Southwest Florida. In just the past two weeks, the airline has announced new flights between RSW and Kalamazoo (AZO) and Lansing (LAN), Michigan, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (RDU) and Binghamton, New York (BGM).

Fort Myers will be Avelo’s second crew base in Florida, joining Orlando International Airport (MCO). The carrier also has crew bases at Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) in California and Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN) in Connecticut.

Avelo expects to create 35 jobs at its new RSW base, including pilots, flight attendants and maintenance personnel.

The move is fueled by Avelo taking delivery of used 737 next-generation models that are allowing it to expand its footprint. As of last week, the airline has 11 737-700s and -800s, and it’s expecting 14 by the end of the year and 16 by the second quarter of 2023.

More: Avelo Airlines CEO Andrew Levy on the airline’s path to profitability: ‘We’re really close’

While Avelo is not yet profitable, the airline is forecasting a profit by the end of 2022.

“We gotta hit our forecast,” Levy said in an interview with TPG last month. “I want to make sure that we’re actually hitting our forecast and generating cash. We’re not quite yet, but we’re really close.”

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.