Seven months after Avelo brought its fledgling airline to Northern Colorado Regional Airport, the low-cost carrier announced it will suspend service to Las Vegas and Burbank, California.
Avelo Airlines blamed the suspension on rising fuel and supply costs. Its last flight to Las Vegas will be June 16. Its last flight to Burbank will be June 24.
The suspension is a blow to the airport owned by the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland, which revealed in the return of commercial air service after a long absence.
“While we recognize that airlines must make difficult choices, this news is disappointing to us and we know that it is also disappointing to those who choose to fly from FNL,” said Airport Director Jason Licon.
FNL is the airport designation used by pilots.
“Flights from FNL to Burbank and Las Vegas continue to be very popular, proving that local passengers desire commercial air service from our location,” Licon said.
Avelo, which celebrated its first 100 days of Northern Colorado flights in late March, also touted their success and was looking forward to adding new routes.
Avelo CEO Andrew Levy told the Coloradoan then that flights to Burbank/Hollywood were increasing and travel to Las Vegas had been a good bet.
About 6,000 customers, or about 430 per week, had flown the twice-a-week route in its first 100 days, he said.
December was good, January was not, February was better and March was excellent as March Madness and spring break drew heavy air travel to Las Vegas and Burbank, he said.
“While this news is unfortunate, it doesn’t change our airport’s commitment to making travel more accessible through investment and innovation,” Licon said. “We recognize that Northern Colorado travelers are looking for convenience and value and want the public to know that we will continue to seek this from other potential service providers.”
More airport news:Developer Martin Lind seeks to boost international travel at Loveland airport by funding customs office
Avelo began flying to Hollywood/Burbank in October and a few weeks later announced the Las Vegas route.
The addition of Avelo was cause for celebration at the airport, which months earlier had added United Airlines’ wingless flights that take passengers by a Landline bus from Northern Colorado to Denver International Airport to connect with United’s other flights.
The airport had been without regularly scheduled commercial service since 2017, when Elite Airways suspended flights after just a couple of years.
Allegiant Airlines had promised to bring back commercial flights to Las Vegas in 2019, but plans never materialized when the Federal Aviation Administration delayed testing of the airport’s remote air traffic control tower
Airport Commission Chairman Don Overcash said it was “unfortunate that rising fuel costs and a tight economy have impacted Avelo and other airlines across the US, making it hard for them to be competitive and provide the same level of service to passengers.”
The airport will continue focusing on enhancements including a new terminal and remote air traffic control tower “that will be used to support current commercial airline service as well as recruiting new carriers,” he said. “These investments are necessary to ensure that FNL continues to serve as an economic engine benefitting the region.”
The airport “remains dedicated to our partnership with United Airlines and Landline with their innovative wingless flight services, and bringing other accessible commercial air service” to the region, Licon said.
Previous coverage:Fort Collins-based wingless flight company jump-starts expansion with new funding
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Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.