America's Newest Budget Airline Just Launched With Fares Under $20

And it's backed by some serious clout

Avelo airlines

Courtesy of Avelo

Last week, Avelo Airlines, the first new mainland airline company to arrive in the U.S. in 15 years, opened its online ticketing gates and began selling seats on 11 nonstop routes. Current one-way introductory fares are going for as low as $19—taxes and fees included.

The catch? The ultra-budget carrier is only flying out of Burbank’s Bob Hope International Airport, at least to start. Likewise, its destinations are all smaller, secondary airports. But that’s kind of part of the mission. Currently, all 11 Avelo destinations are unserved by Burbank Airport and are gateways to national parks, wine regions, or big cities.

Andrew Levy, chairman, founder, and CEO of the ultra-budget carrier, said the airline is on a mission to inspire travel. “People are ready to reconnect with family and friends and explore new places,” he said in a statement. “Avelo is a different and better kind of airline, built from scratch to offer an affordable, convenient, and caring travel experience.”

Avelo Airlines marks the third low-fare airline to come out of the pandemic but will be the first to take off with its inaugural flight departing on April 28, 2021. Breeze Airways, started by former JetBlue co-founder, and Norse Atlantic Airways, a Norwegian transatlantic low-fare airline started by the former co-founder of Norwegian Air Shuttle, are still in the works.

However, if there were ever an airline team that knows what they’re talking about, it would hopefully be the folks behind Avelo—a team composed of former executives from eight different U.S. airlines—including JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and Spirit Airlines—and with a collective combined experience of over 200 years in the aviation game. Levy’s own contribution is his own double-decade experience as the former CFO of United Airlines and co-founder and president of Allegiant Air.

While travelers may be used to equating smaller airports with smaller planes, passengers on Avelo will be flying on revamped Boeing 737-800 planes. The single-class aircraft will be outfitted with 189 seats, including a majority of slimline seats with a tight 29 inches of pitch and 60 roomier seat options with 31 to 38 inches of pitch.

Below-the-belt fares will feature no change, cancellation, or fees to book by phone, though it will charge for bags and onboard privileges. Checked luggage is $10 per bag, carry-on luggage stored in the overhead bins costs $35 per piece, priority boarding can be purchased for $10, and seat reservations start at $5 for window or aisle seats and $18 for the seats with a bit more room. Oh, and pets are allowed on board for $95.

“After more than 20 years of steadily shrinking consumer choice, the American flying public wants and deserves more options and lower fares,” said Levy. “Avelo offers both — along with a refreshingly smooth and convenient experience.”

Got an extra $20 bill laying around? It might just be enough to fund your next flight. To see where Avelo flies or to book a flight, visit the Avelo Airlines website