Spokane International Airport has added a new nonstop route to Burbank, California, through a partnership with a budding low-cost airline.
Tickets to Southern California are already available via the Houston-based Avelo Airlines. Flights aboard Avelo to and from Spokane will operate Wednesdays and Fridays starting at $69 one way. Avelo’s inaugural flight out of Spokane is set for May 25.
Avelo was founded by Andrew Levy, a former president and co-founder of Allegiant Air and former chief financial officer at United Airlines. The airline launched operations in April .
The one-way $69 introductory fare is available through March 24. Avelo Communications Manager Courtney Goff said flights will typically stay less than $100 for fare alone unless they are nearly sold out or last-minute orders, while Avelo will offer promo and social media codes for discounts.
Once Spokane is up and running, Avelo will cater to 24 destinations on the East and West coasts, with West Coast flight operations based out of Hollywood Burbank Airport, Goff said.
When Avelo first started, the airline reached out to Spokane and other airports to get a sense of their markets and customer demand, Goff said. Goff said while Avelo may expand into coast-to-coast flights in the future, the airline is focused on honing current operations to avoid mistakes that might cause long delays and unforeseen cancellations.
“We know that this market has a great connection to the Burbank area not only because of the film industry, but also vacations and visiting friends and family,” she said. “We see this as a great option to go into a convenient, hassle-free airport at Burbank to avoid what we know can be some times of anxiety through (Los Angeles International Airport).”
The Avelo addition marks another new route for Spokane International Airport, which added nonstop service to Reno-Tahoe International Airport in December through aha!, a brand used by ExpressJet Airlines.
Airport CEO Larry Krauter said airport officials are in constant contact with existing and newer airlines to make them aware of the potential opportunities in Spokane.
“If anything, you get excited because you have a sense of what they’re trying to accomplish and a shared objective of growth,” he said of working with newer airlines. “Many of the airlines that we’re working with started out as smaller ones and grew into much larger operations.”
Spokane airport leadership announced the new partnership Thursday during a news conference at the Davenport Hotel.
Airport Board Chairman Collins Sprague said Los Angeles is Spokane International Airport’s second-largest travel market with about 400 passengers coming to and from Spokane per day. Likewise, Los Angeles County is in the Spokane region’s top 10 of inbound tourist arrivals, said Meg Winchester, president and CEO of the tourism nonprofit Visit Spokane.
“With L.A., with 400 passengers per day, and then you look at the number of flights that we have and the number of seats in the market, that’s where we can say, ‘Hey, we’re still underserved here,’ ” he said. “Here’s the opportunity for Avelo in this case, but there could be others that have this opportunity as well.”
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