There's a (Another) Brand New Airline in the U.S. Here's What You Need to Know

Aha! calls itself an "airline-hotel-adventure leisure brand"


Courtesy of Aha!

With many travelers ready to hit the skies, several new airlines are making their debut in the United States, from Avelo to Breeze. The next to take off is aha!, a regional airline run by ExpressJet that will connect Reno, Nevada, and the greater Tahoe region with 20 or so cities across the West.

Aha! 's name is an acronym for "airline-hotel-adventure" brand, as the leisure company plans to sell travel packages that combine travel, accommodation, and activities.

"The Reno-Tahoe region offers travelers a wide range of fun and unique experiences," Head of ExpressJet's aha! business unit Tim Sieber said in a statement. "With the time savings of nonstop flights and packages with great deals at a curated collection of the best hotels and gaming resorts in the region coming soon, we're giving travelers everything they need to customize their own great, short vacation."

The airline will be hubbed at Reno-Tahoe International Airport (REN) and fly 50-seat Embraer ERJ145 jets to the following cities to start, with rolling launch dates between Oct. 24 and Nov. 10:

  • Pasco/Tri-Cities, Wash.
  • Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Medford/Ashland, Ore.
  • Eugene/Springfield, Ore.
  • Ontario, Calif.
  • Redmond/Bend, Ore.
  • Eureka/Arcata, Calif.
  • Fresno/Yosemite, Calif.

Then over the next few months, aha! will expand to more than 20 cities total.

"As ExpressJet began developing post-COVID flying opportunities that fit our history of serving smaller communities with regional aircraft, we realized that the old adage of 'getting there is half the fun' has become 'just getting there burns up half the vacation,'" ExpressJet's CEO Subodh Karnik said in a statement. "With so many under-served communities and the allure of Reno-Tahoe, the aha! brand model practically leapt at us."

Aha! 's prices are low—flights start at $49 each way during the airline's launch period—but passengers will have to pay $30 per bag for carry-on and checked luggage (they can fly with one personal item for free). Still, for direct Reno-Tahoe access from these smaller cities, the pricing is quite a steal.