Avelo Airlines Owner Andrew Levy Is Redefining Domestic Travel

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May. 27 2021, Published 2:16 p.m. ET

With domestic travel on the rebound, new airlines are starting to pop up. Avelo Airlines is one of them. Who owns the company?

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With a focus on domestic U.S. airports, Avelo and other fledgling airlines might redefine what it means to travel locally.

Andrew Levy, former United Airlines CFO, is head of the newly launched Avelo Airlines.

Andrew Levy is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Avelo Airlines. Prior to launching his new small airline, Levy co-founded and served as the president of Allegiant Air. He was also the chief financial officer for United Airlines

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Levy is also Spanish-speaking and a board member of a major Latin American airline called Copa.

He started Avelo to provide low-cost, short-distance air travel in the U.S. Currently, the company prioritizes non-stop flights to and from "close-to-home airports." An emphasis on smaller airports means patrons will spend less time traveling. First checked bags, priority boarding, window or aisle seating, and carry-on overhead bags all come with an upcharge ranging from $5–$35.

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Where does Avelo Airlines fly?

Currently, Avelo's destinations are all in the western half of the U.S. You can fly from Hollywood Burbank-Los Angeles, Calif. (BUR) to one of the following destinations or vice versa:

  • Pasco Tri-Cities, Wash. (PSC)
  • Bozeman Yellowstone, Mont. (BZN)
  • Eugene, Ore. (EUG)
  • Medford-Rogue Valley, Ore. (MFR)
  • Redmond-Bend, Ore. (RDM)
  • Arcata-Eureka, Calif. (ACV)
  • Santa Rosa-Sonoma County, Calif. (STS)
  • Redding, Calif. (RDD)
  • Ogden-Salt Lake, Utah (OGD)
  • Grand Junction, Colo. (GJT)
  • Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz. (AZA)

Avelo's first flight took place on April 28. The parent company, Airline Holdings, Inc., sold XTRA Airways in 2018.

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Does Andrew Levy still hold United Airlines stock?

As former CFO for United, Levy held more than 5,000 United (NASDAQ:UAL) shares. The monetary value of those shares has sunk since 2018 when they were valued at about $2 million. However, Levy has already sold at least $22.5 million in UAL stock over the last decade and a half. This puts his net worth well into the millions regardless of whether he still owns UAL shares.

Will Avelo expand beyond BUR?

Right now, Avelo's key interest is providing flights to and from the Hollywood Burbank-Los Angeles airport. It isn't clear whether they will expand to include more domestic destinations.

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Small airlines are popping up this year, including Breeze Airways.

Levy isn't alone in his quest to tap the domestic airline marketplace. Breeze Airways just launched, headed by David Neeleman.

Neeleman is founder and former CEO of JetBlue Airways. Breeze is Neeleman's fifth airline startup over the course of his career. Breeze just took their first flight out of Charleston, S.C. and will fly to and from 16 cities including New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

Avelo and Breeze are both making a statement in an industry that has struggled tremendously during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting a stronghold on the travel rebound within the U.S. is key, and that's exactly where the companies are focusing their attention. Levy and Neeleman might just be giving the executives of leading airlines in the nation a run for their money, but it's still too early to tell.

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