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New airlines add routes, planes


The two newest U.S. airlines, Breeze and Avelo, which are both looking to build a business by operating non-stop flights for cities overlooked by the major airlines, have good news announcements this week.

Avelo, whose flights up to now have all operated from Burbank, California will station some of its 737-700s at Tweed New Haven Airport in Connecticut, giving Avelo its first East Coast base and giving New Haven its first non-stops to Florida. Avelo will fly daily to Orlando on November 3, and will add Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Tampa by November 11.

That's a boost for the airport, too, which has struggled to get regular service for the airport, which is about halfway between New York and Boston. At present, its only scheduled service is an American Airlines flight to Philadelphia. A statement pointed out that it will be “the first time in 30 years that the airport will simultaneously serve more than two destinations.”

Over at Breeze, the other new carrier, the news is more planes and more money: $200 million in new investment on top of its $100 million startup, led by David Neeleman, who's been involved in half a dozen successful airline startups including WestJet and JetBlue.

Breeze, currently serving over a dozen cities, has added and subtracted a number of routes as it gauges the market. Neeleman says the new funds will help the airline buy more of the secondhand Embraer E-195 jets it's flying while waiting for deliveries of its 60 new A220s to start in October. Breeze says its operation is lean enough that it can make money with the planes half-empty, but has been seeing load factors in the 60s and 70s.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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