A new class of entrepreneurs believes the moment has arrived to do something that has proved difficult in the best of circumstances: start an airline.
Some of the upstarts are emerging from the ashes of airlines that failed during the pandemic. Others have been waiting for air travel to show signs of recovery so they can activate plans that were already in place. Most are hoping that they can seize the chance to pick up heavily discounted aircraft, snap up coveted space at once-congested airports and in some cases, hire laid-off pilots and flight attendants.
In the U.S., two new airlines are looking to fly routes that larger carriers have ignored or left behind after years of consolidation.
One of them, Avelo Airlines had its first scheduled flight Wednesday morning, from Hollywood Burbank Airport to Santa Rosa, in California’s Sonoma County.
Though there were some hiccups leading up to the launch—the airline’s reservation system, provided by another company, went down for over four days in a global outage—the flight took off Wednesday on time and without incident.
Avelo hopes that low fares will spur demand on routes other airlines don’t serve. The airline will fly to 11 airports from Burbank, including several small cities like Medford, Ore., Ogden, Utah, and Eureka, Calif.
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