Start-up airline Avelo recently extended its booking window from Sept. 16 through Jan. 11, 2022. As part of the schedule extension, the carrier also made some quiet adjustments to its route map.
Just two months after the first flight landed in Grand Junction on May 9th, the airline has announced it will no longer fly to Grand Junction Regional Airport after August 15, 2021, and that news took local officials by surprise.
Executive Director of Grand Junction Regional Airport Angela Padalecki told the Daily Sentinal:
“I was a bit surprised because the flights were growing each week and we hoped that they would be able to extend their flights into the fall,” she said. “It was a great service for the summer.”
The airline also announced it was pulling out of Bozeman, Montana.
The inaugural flight back in May was met with travelers praising the new service on a mainline commercial aircraft, Avelo operates all flights with a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, a water cannon salute, and a celebration in the terminal.
Padalecki said it’s challenging for low-cost airlines to find financial success sometimes. However, like with all airlines, there were incentives available to begin service to the airport such as reduced airport rates, fees, and charges. Those incentives usually come with an agreement to operate service for a set period of time, in this case, 12 weeks, and Padalecki said Avelo met that requirement.
“I feel like we did everything we could to make this service successful,” she added. “(For Avelo) it wasn’t performing as well as they hoped it would.”
The airport is hopeful for Avelo to return service next summer but added that it was impossible to know for sure. The Grand Junction Regional Airport currently has six carriers: Allegiant, American, Avelo, Delta, Frontier, and United. The number will soon be four during the fall and winter. Frontier Airlines only operates seasonally to the area and will complete their last flight of the year on Sept. 5.