Low-Cost Airline Makes Maiden Flight to Boise, With Eye on Success During Busy Summer

May 31, 2022

BOISE, Idaho — Avelo Airlines, a new low-cost air carrier, has launched service at the Boise Airport, with its first flight touching down in the Treasure Valley from its hub at Southern California’s Hollywood Burbank Airport.

The airline’s May 24 two-hour nonstop return trip from Boise to the Los Angeles County airport was scheduled for takeoff later in the day. Avelo (pronounced A-VELL-o) is starting with twice-weekly flights between the two destinations, on Mondays and Fridays, and plans to add Wednesdays and Saturdays between June and August.

“Boise is a market we’ve been interested in for quite some time,” Andrew Levy, Avelo’s founder, chairman and CEO, told the Idaho Statesman in a phone interview. “Obviously we recognize the tremendous growth in general, specifically from California, and the growing community of interest between the two communities, and that’s why we’re there, and we’re really excited about it.”

Four airlines already provide service from Boise to Los Angeles International Airport, which consistently ranks among the top-three busiest airports in the U.S., and in the top five in the world. But Avelo’s route to Burbank, which is located about 30 miles north of LAX, is brand-new for Boise, and offers $69 one-way trips with advance bookings at aveloair.com.

Avelo’s addition also brings the local air travel hub back up to seven commercial airlines after JetBlue Airways chose to exit the market last month. Spirit Airlines will become Boise’s eighth air carrier when it begins service with a nonstop Las Vegas route in August.

The expansions continue to build on the momentum and increased demand at the Boise Airport. Through the first quarter of 2022, the airport was on pace for its busiest year in history after record-high passenger counts in March and April, according to airport data. Each comes ahead of the year’s usual, nonpandemic air travel peaks during the summer months, between May and August.

“Our 2022 passenger counts have been consistently higher than our 2019 statistics, which was our busiest year to date,” Rebecca Hupp, Boise Airport’s director, said in a news release. “Pair this general increase in demand with the uptick we traditionally see in travel from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and we are anticipating a record-breaking summer.”

The airport’s April total of nearly 336,000 passengers reflected about a 10% surge in travel compared to 2019, while March’s total of more than 358,500 passengers was better than a 7% increase over the airport’s current record-holder year. More than 4.1 million passengers passed through Boise in 2019 to generate the airport’s all-time high, before the COVID-19 pandemic decimated commercial air travel globally.

Avelo’s arrival is poised to contribute to the gains at the Boise Airport aboard the airline’s 189-seat aircraft it operates in the West. If the Burbank route is successful, Levy said, Avelo would first look to increase its number of flights, and then explore adding other destinations in and out of Boise.

“We’re not a business carrier, and live and die on low fares, stimulating demand and making it easier to travel or travel more often,” said Levy, who previously co-founded and was president of Allegiant Air, which also serves Boise. “We don’t try to be everything to everybody, and as a result we capture customers. We’re selling price, but also convenience and ease of use, and Burbank is perfect for that.”

In response to Avelo’s launch in Boise, Alaska Airlines also is set to introduce its own Burbank flight on Friday aboard 76-seat planes, creating another option along the same route. The Seattle-based air carrier’s new flight will raise its nonstop destination total in Boise to 15, with two more, to Las Vegas and Idaho Falls, scheduled to join its lineup starting June 16. Bookings are available at alaskaair.com.

“We’re always looking to increase options for our guests while keeping an eye on the competitive landscape,” an Alaska Airlines spokesperson told the Statesman by email.

Avelo, meanwhile, last month celebrated its one-year anniversary after serving more than 630,000 passengers across 5,300 flights in its first year of operations across its developing network of roughly 30 destinations. Separate from Bosie, the airline will add service in and out of Orlando in June, joining Burbank and its East Coast operations center in New Haven, Connecticut, as Avelo’s hubs.

“We offer a product customers like, that’s really easy, simple, and gets you from Point A to Point B, and we’re pretty good at it,” Levy said. “It’s just a matter of getting awareness out there, and enough people trying us, and when they do, they like what they see.”


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