Avelo Airlines Moving Las Vegas Base To Northern California, Seeking Efficiency

avelo jet tail
Credit: Avelo Airlines

Avelo Airlines will be closing a base at Las Vegas Reid International Airport (LAS), shifting the Boeing 737NG based there to Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, California, on May 1.

STS will become the second U.S. West Coast base for Avelo after Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR). One of three 737NGs now based at BUR will also be transferred to STS, so the two western bases will each have two aircraft rather than the three-to-one distribution between BUR and LAS.

Eventually a third 737NG now in charter service will join the BUR base, giving Avelo five aircraft between the two bases.

The carrier launched operations in April 2021 with an inaugural flight between BUR and STS, a route it now serves 6X-weekly. The LAS base, one of six aircraft bases in Avelo’s network, was opened in September 2023.

Avelo does not operate transcontinental flights, keeping its east and west operations separate. The airline’s expansion has emphasized the eastern network, where 11 737NGs are spread among four airports, including five at Tweed-New Haven Airport in Connecticut.

Avelo Commercial Head Trevor Yealy, who oversees network planning and revenue management, told Aviation Week Network that the carrier remains committed to growing its western network, and believes STS—located 75 mi. north of San Francisco International Airport—provides a good balance with BUR.

“We've got more growth to come out of Santa Rosa,” Yealy says, noting both STS and BUR are "very popular secondary airports in major metro areas, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. By moving the base, we can better commingle, better make efficient destinations that we serve out of both bases.”

In addition to BUR, the airline serves three more routes from STS: LAS up to 4X-weekly; Redmond, Oregon, 2X-weekly; and Palm Springs, California, up to 4X-weekly.

On Feb. 21, Avelo revealed it will add four more routes when the base opens in May, all to be served 2X-weekly. Flights will commence from STS to Boise, Idaho; Glacier Park International Airport outside Kalispell, Montana; Salem, Oregon; and Pasco, Washington.

“Avelo is really expanding the travel possibilities here at STS,” STS Airport Manager Jon Stout says in a statement. “This is the single largest announcement of new destinations at one time in the airport’s history.”

Yealy sees BUR and STS working seamlessly as Avelo's West Coast bases.

“We have almost once-a-day service between Burbank and Santa Rosa itself,” Yealy says. “So, operationally, that provides the support on the West Coast. Having two bases out west that have interaction with each other allows us to better leverage resources that we have and will allow us to better grow. We're going to continue growing in the west.”

Avelo has indicated up to 50 employees will eventually be in place at STS, including pilots, flight attendants and aviation maintenance personnel.

The airline currently operates a fleet of nine 737-800s configured to carry 189 passengers and seven 737-700s with 149 seats. All are used, leased aircraft. Avelo expects to receive at least five more used 737NGs on lease by the end of the 2025 first quarter.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.