Avelo Airlines, a budget carrier launched during the pandemic, is shifting its focus — or at least one of its crew bases. The change will happen in the West, as it shifts its Las Vegas crew base to Sonoma County, California.
On May 1, Avelo will open a new crew base at Charles M. Schultz-Sonoma County Airport (STS) in Santa Rosa, California, the Houston-based ultra-low-cost carrier announced Wednesday.
Once the crew base is established, Avelo will base two of its Boeing 737 aircraft in Santa Rosa and hire up to 50 crew members in the region, including pilots, flight attendants and aviation maintenance technicians.
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As part of the shift, the airline will close its current crew base at Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS). Though Avelo will continue to serve Las Vegas on routes, the base will close effective April 30.
Company officials told TPG that Santa Rosa would be a better fit as a crew base given its proximity to another Avelo base: Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), north of Los Angeles. The move should give the airline better flexibility with respect to aircraft, crew and maintenance, Avelo officials said.
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“STS is our kind of hometown airport — friendly, fast and easy. As the inaugural destination of Avelo’s first flight in 2021, the Bay Area has a special spot in our history,” Avelo founder, chairman and CEO Andrew Levy said in a statement announcing the news.
Avelo currently serves four nonstop destinations from the Sonoma County airport: BUR, LAS, Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) in California and Redmond Airport (RDM) in Oregon.
So far, the carrier has not unveiled any new routes from Santa Rosa as part of the crew base shift, but it seems likely that more could be on the way, considering its emphasis on the airport.
Other remaining Avelo crew bases include Burbank, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) in North Carolina, Tweed New Haven Airport (HVN) in Connecticut, Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Wilmington Airport (ILG) in Delaware.
The Santa Rosa airport can be a gateway for travelers looking to explore California’s wine country, sitting right in the heart of Sonoma County. The airport is also served by American Airlines and Alaska Airlines — the latter of which beefed up its Santa Rosa schedule as Avelo first launched operations there in 2021.