Aviation notes: Avelo extends schedule; American strikes back at Frontier

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Avelo Airlines has extended its schedule to Sept. 3.

As expected, flights from Wilmington Airport will travel to eight destinations during that period. Service to and from Sarasota ends in April.

Most flights are twice weekly and allow for a long weekend. Destinations are Tampa, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Fort Meyers, Fort Lauderdale, San Juan, Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach. Not on the schedule this time around are Greenville, SC; Savannah, Raleigh and Nashville. Orlando remains a popular destination, with four flights a week to the home of Universal and Disney.

In a recent interview, Avelo CEO and founder Andrew Levy, indicated that the upstart airline was overly aggressive in adding Wilmington service after a strong start last year.

The airline, meanwhile, will work to raise its profile in the Delaware Valley and promote the benefits of a smaller airport and its top rating in flight delays and cancellations.

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One surprise in the timetable is no service yet from Lakeland, FL after Avelo inked a long-term deal with the airport in the Florida City between Tampa and Orlando.

Lakeland is viewed as an alternative to the busy Orlando airport and at one point was seen as an option for Wilmington flights.

However,, the four-day-a-week schedule from ILG to Orlando seems to indicate that the Florida city is Avelo’s strongest route from Delaware.

American strikes back

As reported last week, Frontier Airlines added flights to mid-sized cities served by Frontier Airlines beginning this spring.

The Ishrion Aviation site quickly discovered that America has struck back by beefing up its schedule to those cities and, in some cases, replacing small regional jets with mainline aircraft.

See the X (Twitter) post below.

Frontier has shifted its jets away from lower-fare routes from Orlando and Las Vegas to what the airline views are overpriced routes dominated by Big 4 carriers like American.

The added service from both airlines is good news for Philadelphia passengers, by providing more flight times from Philadelphia International Airport.

It will be interesting to see whether American responds with lower fares on the contested routes.

The battle between the two airlines may be good news for Avelo service out of Wilmington, with Frontier perhaps focusing less on Florida service. So far, that has not happened with a May timetable showing five nonstops from Philly to Orlando.

This year, Avelo will be tested on whether it can charge fares that are more expensive than a bus ticket to Orlando or West Palm Beach.

In the past, American did not appear to worry about Philadelphia competition from Frontier since the Denver-based airline pretty much-offered service a few times a week to smaller destinations and not to places like its fortress hub in Charlotte, NC.

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