Avelo Airlines has extended its flight schedule from Wilmington (ILG) from the end of October into the first week of January. That’s good news for travelers heading to Florida for the holidays.
Avelo flights typically operate twice a week and are geared to long weekends. The exceptions to the two-a-week rule are Orlando and Tampa, the most popular destinations out of ILG.
Holiday flights may run $100 or more one-way with baggage fees and seat reservations come at an extra charge. That’s still below the inflated fares we see during that time of year.
Avelo added eight cities to its system from Wilmington earlier this summer and, based on booking volume, is expected to fly 100,000 passengers to and from the Delaware airport. Avelo has nearly 100 employees and two Boeing 737-800 jets based in Delaware.
The airline will resume service to West Palm Beach in November after taking a break following the July 4th holiday.
Nowhere on the schedule is Melbourne, FL, which was dropped from initial flight plans. Also, according to the website, Wilmington (ILG) service will not be extended beyond October for destinations in the Carolinas and Savannah. Avelo has competing flights from American and others from Philadelphia International Airport, and airline traffic slows dramatically in the period between mid-fall and the holidays.
Nashville remains on the schedule and reportedly is attracting strong passenger traffic.
Based on booking trends, Avelo is projecting 100,000 summer travelers using the Wilmington airport.
Airport officials have seen more passengers using parking at the airport. Plans call for reopening another lot that hasn’t been used for several years. You might remember that Frontier saw an initial surge of passengers lured by free parking. Routes were quickly dropped, and boardings plunged.
This time around, the airport charges $9.50 a day for more secure parking. That’s quite a bargain when compared to near-terminal parking in Philadelphia, that can run more than $20 a day.
American offering year-round flights to Spain, Portugal
American Airlines has extended its seasonal nonstop service from Philadelphia International Airport to Lisbon and Barcelona to year-round status.
“As customers begin to plan their winter vacations, American Airlines is excited to offer more service to Europe from Philadelphia this winter with new year-round service to Barcelona and Lisbon,” said Jason Reisinger, American Airlines managing director of Global Network Planning. “From our leading transatlantic hub, American will offer up to nine daily flights to European destinations our customers want to visit the most.”
In addition to Lisbon and Barcelona, American Airlines’ year-round PHL transatlantic service includes London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Zurich, Paris, Madrid, and Rome.
There have been worries that American was shifting overseas service to other airports, including its fortress hub in Charlotte, NC.
American this week saw the end of a northeast alliance with smaller Jet Blue. A judge ruled the alliance with the nation’s largest airline came with antitrust issues. While both airlines denied monopoly claims, the alliance did allow American to not worry about competition on routes like Philly to Boston. Jet Blue had a solid foothold on that route and with the alliance American was going to launch a market share battle.
Competitors tip-toe around American, knowing that it can go to war with low fares and a large base of frequent fliers. Just ask Southwest, which offered low-fare flights to New England and Pittsburgh from Philly about a decade ago. American’s predecessor, USAirways responded, and once Southwest dropped its service, fares surged. American charges upwards of $600 for a roundtrip to Pittsburgh.
Jet Blue chose to move on and not fight a court battle, noting that it needed to focus on a proposed merger with discount carrier Spirit, which also comes with antitrust issues. If Jet Blue successfully merges with Spirit, the combined fleets are expected to be converted to Jet Blue’s model, which comes with more amenities like business class and internet access and most likely higher fares.
American’s handy-dandy weather software
“This just in,” as they say on the TV news.
American Airlines has developed an IT innovation that has helped it avoid some of the mass delays that occur due to weather.
The system aids American, which relies on major hubs like Philadelphia to feed passenger traffic. That type of setup can melt down, as we saw recently with the mass delays at United Airlines.
Below is a quick explainer from American via YouTube.
Copa comes to Baltimore-Washington
At Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Copa Airlines has launched flights to its hub in Panama City, not the Florida one.
Copa serves 14 cities in the United States with connecting flights from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Copa Airlines now offers four weekly flights from BWI on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
In addition to Baltimore, Copa Airlines launched a new route in South America on June 27, connecting its Panama hub to the city of Manta, Ecuador. This move positions Copa Airlines as the sole provider of international service to Manta, often referred to as the “Gateway to the Pacific.”
Copa also serves better-known South American destinations, including Buenos Aires.