Avelo To Establish Base At California’s Sonoma County Airport

Avelo 737-700
Credit: joepriesaviation.net

Avelo Airlines will open its seventh base at Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, California on May 1.

The carrier, which operates a fleet of 16 Boeing 737 aircraft (a mix of -700s and -800s), will base two 737s and up to 50 crew at STS. Avelo has served the airport since April 2021, when it was part of the carrier’s original network with service from Hollywood Burbank Bob Hope Airport (BUR) in southern California. In fact, Avelo’s first-ever flight was between BUR and STS.

Avelo still operates to BUR from STS, located around 75 miles north of San Francisco International Airport. The BUR-STS route is flown 6X-weekly, operating every day but Wednesdays.

Also from STS, the airline serves Las Vegas Reid International Airport (LAS) up to 4X-weekly; Redmond, Oregon 2X-weekly; and Palm Springs, California up to 4X-weekly.

“As the inaugural destination of Avelo’s first flight in 2021, [STS] has a special spot in our history,” CEO Andrew Levy says in a statement. “Since then, more than 300,000 customers have experienced Avelo’s everyday low fares, convenience and reliability flying to and from STS. We are very excited about the platform for growth the airport offers Avelo.”

STS Airport Manager Jon Stout adds: “We’re looking forward to the new connections and operations this will bring to our community, and all the benefits of an Avelo base here at STS.”

Avelo currently has six bases: BUR; LAS; Orlando International Airport (MCO); Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN) in Connecticut; Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina; and Wilmington Airport (ILG) in Delaware. The carrier serves a total of 43 destinations.

The airline notes it has been a year since it opened a base at ILG on Feb. 1, 2023. The airport had no scheduled airline service at the start of 2023, but now Avelo serves nine destinations from ILG, including San Juan, Puerto Rico and six cities in Florida.

Wilmington Airport is located 25 mi. to the south of Philadelphia International Airport and 75 miles to the east of Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and had previously been ignored by airlines except for sporadic Frontier Airlines service, which ended in June 2022 when the ULCC cut its one route to MCO.

In June 2023, Avelo swapped out a 149-seat 737-700 based at ILG for a 189-seat 737-800 and added a second 737-800.

“In 12 short months we’ve transformed ILG from a non-commercial airport into a vibrant gateway to nine destinations spanning three states and Puerto Rico,” Levy says.

Meanwhile, while some U.S. airlines, including Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines, are adding flights to LAS for the Feb. 11 Super Bowl game in Las Vegas, Avelo is offering extra flights to enable area residents to escape the crowded city.

On Feb. 9, Avelo will offer extra flights from LAS to both BUR and STS with return flights on Feb. 12, the day after the National Football League championship game. Avelo already operates the BUR-STS route 4X-weekly, but it does not regularly fly on the LAS-BUR route.  

Aaron Karp

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