New Haven, CT

Tweed New Haven Flying High as Other Small Airports Face Service Cutbacks

Connecticut by the Numbers

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Tweed New Haven Airport and many of the nation’s small airports are traveling in opposite directions. As commercial passenger service from Tweed it popular out-of-state destinations has been steadily growing in recent months with the arrival of Avelo Airlines, other small airports are experiencing reductions in service, and in some instances, outright abandonment by major carriers.

According to the Regional Airline Association, as reported by NBC News this week, more than 300 airports have seen air service reductions in the last three years. It is a trend that is continuing. Beginning on Thursday, American Airlines will pull its regional service from four small towns in the U.S., citing a shortage of pilots, according to the network. United Airlines has also pulled out of around 20 cities since the pandemic’s start, and Delta has dropped three.

Economic activity is seen as a major beneficiary of regular airline service – and the opposite is true when an airline leaves town, as has been happening increasingly nationwide in smaller cities, such as Dubuque, Iowa. That city – a major college town – and hometown for 60,000, will see its major carrier service to and from Chicago end after three decades this week.

New Haven, another major college town, is experiencing an unprecedented growth in service at its local airport, just five miles from downtown. As The Hartford Courant reported last month:

“On Nov. 3, 2021, Avelo Airlines inaugurated its New Haven base (HVN) with a flight to Orlando, Fla., home of Walt Disney World. It followed soon thereafter with five more Florida destinations: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Sarasota. Now the airline, the first new airline in the United States in 10 years when it launched in April 2021 from Hollywood Burbank Airport, has 14 non-stop destinations from Tweed, with more on the way, according to CEO Andrew Levy.”

Florida is not Avelo’s only destination from New Haven. Travelers can head to destinations including Chicago, Nashville, Baltimore/Washington, Raleigh/Durham, Newport News/Williamsburg, Va., Wilmington, N.C., and Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Savannah/Hilton Head, S.C.

Gov. Ned Lamont recently described the airline as “a great partner for Tweed, contributing to the airport’s development and expanding flights to and from New Haven.” Lamont noted this spring that “they started at 4 affordable routes and are growing to 14 this May. What difference a year makes!”

Tweed New Haven was Avelo’s second base of operations and first East Coast base when it opened in nearly a year ago, last November. The airline’s three current bases are at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) in addition to Southern Connecticut’s Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN).

Since last fall, more than 150 HVN-based jobs have been created, according to the airline, including Airport Customer Service and Operations, Aircraft Technical Operations and Maintenance, Flight Attendants, Pilots and Supervisory positions. The airline announced plans earlier this year to add an additional 50 Crewmembers by the end of 2022 – growing the HVN-based team to approximately 200 Crewmembers.

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