If you have heard some jet sounds around Wilmington Airport, there’s a good reason for it.
In marking the first annivarsary of Avelo Airlines service from Wilmington (ILG) the airline announced that the Delaware airport accounted for more than 2,100 flights and 286,000 inbound and outbound passengers.
The first flight to Orlando took place on Feb. 1, 2023, with the airline and airport manager, the Delaware River and Bay Authority holding a ceremony to mark the milestone.
“Last February, we endeavored to make air travel more affordable, faster and easier for Philadelphia area travelers. Over the past year, we’ve done just that,” Avelo founder, chairman and CEO Andrew Levy stated. “In 12 short months we’ve transformed ILG from a non-commercial airport into a vibrant gateway to nine destinations spanning three states and Puerto Rico, and we’ve done it with industry-leading reliability. We are grateful for the positive reception the region has greeted us with and look forward to continued growth in the year ahead.”
Added DRBA Deputy Executive Director Stephen Williams, “The DRBA is excited to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the return of nonstop, low fare service from Delaware’s Wilmington Airport (ILG) to great destinations both within the continental USA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico via San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). This first year has seen record passenger enplanements (boardings), excellent on-time service, and the airport’s return to primary commercial service status well before the end of 2023. At DRBA, we look forward to another year of our partnership and commercial success for Avelo Airlines in Delaware, and we again applaud their decision to establish Wilmington-ILG as a ‘base of operations’ with dedicated aircraft and crew.”
As reported previously, the DRBA bought out the lease for a motel adjacent to its terminal to make way for added parking. The area will be converted to close-in parking. Parking at the airport reached capacity over the holidays.
Avelo currently serves the following nine destinations from ILG: Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Wilmington, N.C.; San Juan, Puerto Rico and six cities in Florida: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Sarasota/Bradenton, Tampa and West Palm Beach. The airline tested demand on other routes during 2023, with service to Nashville, Savannah and other cities not returning to the schedule as of late spring.
The airline draws passengers from Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and the Upper Shore of Maryland.
In 2023, Avelo achieved the lowest flight cancellation rate and the second-best on-time performance in the U.S. airline industry, according to a release.
All Avelo flights are nonstop, and on almost every route has a smaller airport offering flights to leisure destinations. The airline offers lower base fares, with added charges for seat assignments, extra legroom and luggage. At the same time, it charges no fees if a customer has to cancel or reschedule a flight.
Operating a fleet of 16 Boeing 737 aircraft, Avelo, serves 43 destinations across the United States. The airline recently announced it will move a crew base from Las Vegas in May to the San Francisco Bay area’s Sonoma County Airport. Flights from its crew base in Burbank to the California wine country airport were the among the first for the airline when it was launched in 2021.
Avelo markets both Wilmington and Sonoma as alternatives to busy airports in Philadelphia and the Bay Area.
Avelo has no immediate plans to offer transcontinental flights. Instead, it focuses on short-haul service from the East and West Coasts.