There's a Houston-Based Airline, and It's Now Flying Out of Hobby

June 17, 2024

Jun. 15—One of America's newest airlines, and a Houston airline no less, just launched service from Houston. Avelo Airlines made its first flight out of Space City Friday, sending passengers from William P. Hobby Airport to Tweed New Haven Regional Airport in Connecticut.

"Today marks a significant milestone as we inaugurate Avelo's first flight from our home city of Houston," Avelo Airlines founder and CEO Andrew Levy said in a press release. "Avelo will be the only airline connecting Houston and Connecticut—which will make getting to the gateway to New England and New York easier, faster and more affordable than ever."

Avelo's roots go back to 1987 as the charter carrier Casino Express Airlines, flying big-money casino resort guests in and out of a Nevada airport. In the 2000s the carrier expanded its fleet and became Xtra Airways, catering to dignitaries and sports teams, among others. But in 2018, former Allegiant Air COO Andrew Levy acquired Xtra and temporarily named it Houston Air Holdings, basing his company out of the Bayou City.

In 2021, Levy renamed his business Avelo Airlines, finishing a transformation from charter to low-cost passenger airline, similar to Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit. While Avelo is headquartered at Houston's Greenway Plaza—home to its support center and 200 employees—it first operated flights at Hollywood Burbank Airport near Los Angeles. This year, the airline expanded service throughout the East Coast thanks to establishing a hub in New Haven. Avelo boasts serving 4.7 million customers on 37,000 flights since its 2021 launch.

Avelo will be operating flights from Hobby Airport to New Haven on Mondays and Fridays using Boeing 737 Next-Generation aircraft. Boeing has been under fire in recent months, specifically concerning its 737 MAX aircraft, which were developed after Next-Generation aircraft.

Over the summer, Avelo's one-way fares from Houston to New Haven start at under $100. To celebrate the launch of its Houston service on Friday, Avelo hosted live music and a water cannon salute at its Hobby gate.

"Houston Airports is proud to celebrate the launch of Avelo Airlines' new nonstop service from Hobby Airport to Connecticut," Houston Airports Director of Aviation Jim Szczesniak said in a release. "This exciting partnership offers our passengers even more convenient travel options between Houston and the Northeast. Avelo's commitment to affordability perfectly aligns with our mission of connecting people, businesses, and cultures to Houston."

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