Daytona Beach, welcome Avelo Airlines.
Passengers aboard the ultra-low-cost airline’s inaugural flight from Tweed-New Haven Airport in Connecticut to Daytona Beach International Airport were greeted with pomp and circumstance on Thursday, June 22, as the airport celebrated the beginning of Avelo’s air service. There was cake, cheers by the Ormond Beach Sandcrabs cheerleaders and a traditional water salute as the Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft landed at DAB.
“This is the beginning of some great things for Volusia County, for the Daytona Beach area, for our community,” Cyrus Callum, county director of aviation and economic resources, said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “And so I’m very excited for this partnership that we’ve started with Avelo Airlines.”
In April, the Volusia County Council voted 4-2 to create a $1 million fund to mitigate the financial risk of Avelo’s startup costs. Avelo would only have access to the fund if the carrier fails to meet revenue projections.
But bookings have been terrific, said Travis Christ, head of marketing for Avelo Airlines. Flights for Thursday and Friday were both full.
“I’ve always thought Daytona was just waiting to emerge as a wonderful opportunity for additional air service, and as Florida’s population has expanded so much in the last few years, the time is really right,” Christ said. “... Other airlines will notice this too.”
County Council Chair Jeff Brower said this is a “historic time” to be at the airport. He was joined by Councilmen Matt Reinhart, Jake Johansson and Troy Kent. There is demand for additional air traffic at DAB, Brower said, which reaffirms that the county’s investment in bringing the airline was a good move.
“It was well planned, and I have complete confidence that this is the right plan,” he said. “This agreement is an investment in taxpayers’ money. We believe that it is a good investment that will be the catalyst for future new routes.”
Avelo is the first new airline to service DAB since 2019. In addition to Avelo’s nonstop service from New Haven to Daytona Beach on Thursdays and Sundays, the airline will also fly to Delaware’s Wilmington Airport on Mondays and Fridays, starting June 23.
Callum said he had reported to the council in April that the airport had a $2.1 billion economic impact on the county. A new report by the Florida Department of Transportation stated that the airport now has a $3.2 billion impact.
DAB Director Karen Feaster said the airport’s air traffic is up 14% this year compared to this time in 2022.
The Avelo flights, she added, are estimated to have an economic impact of $5 million a year.
“It’s a huge impact to our community,” she said.