Updated: Avelo boosts pilot pay

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Avelo Airline has raised pilot pay for the fifth time since its founding in 2021.

Like its competitors, the low-fare airline is dealing with an industry-wide shortage of pilots, thanks in part to retirements and demographics that have reduced the number of potential pilots. Airlines have formed partnerships and taken other steps to deal with the high training costs of those aspiring to a job in the cockpit.

Ten of the airline’s 170 pilots are based at Wilmington Airport (ILG). Two larger Boeing 737 800 series jets are based at the Delaware airport.

Avelo Airlines CEO Andrew Levy said, “The pay increase we are announcing today, combined with the other exceptional benefits and quality of life Avelo offers, will continue to make Avelo a very attractive destination for pilots. Our pilots play a critical role in Avelo’s future, and we look forward to welcoming many more of these outstanding aviation professionals to our airline in the months and years ahead.”

The airline publishes its pay scales online and promotes its strategy of shorter nonstop flights with no connections. The route map allows pilots to reduce or eliminate the number of days spent away from home. The shorter flights, often to less crowded airports, have contributed to the airline having of the best on-time records in the industry.

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Avelo also faces higher pay scales from other airlines that have negotiated new agreements with their pilots.

Avelo employs about 100 in Delaware. It flies to more than a dozen destinations from ILG, mainly in Florida, often with twice-weekly flights.

The airline also operates hubs in the Western U.S. but has no immediate plans to operate transcontinental flights that would tie up jets for longer periods.

Higher pilot pay has added cost pressure on costs at Avelo, which launched operations from Wilmington early this year. In November, the airline will add nonstop service from ILG to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Sarasota, FL. Seasonal service from Wilmington has ended to a few destinations, such as Savannah, GA.

The airline operates under the ultra-low fare model with low-base prices and fees for luggage and seat assignments. Unlike some airlines, it allows most cancellations or changes to be made without additional fees.

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