Report No: 2021-404
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this report where I would report the inaugural flight of Avelo Airlines from Burbank to Santa Rosa, a new low-cost airline based in the USA. This would be the first time where I actually attended an inaugural flight of a brand new airline and I was lucky to find a seat onboard this special flight for with a base fare of $19 as published.
So, please feel free to scroll down and read this Flight-Report of the inaugural flight of Avelo Airlines.
Here is the routing for this series;
Loads for this flight
Normally, the airline offers online check-in but there was an issue going on and I wasn't able to complete OLCI, so I wouldn't be covering the online check-in process.
However, I would be speaking of the add-ons being offered; the airline offers seat selection, priority boarding, checked baggage and carry-on baggage as extras and passengers would need to pay for these respective services. For this flight, I have paid for seat selection and priority boarding.
I have arrived at BUR, reasonably before the flight so I could see what is going on before the inaugural flight.
Upon entering Terminal A, there was a special desk for media and press members on this flight where they could grab their accreditation and boarding passes, although, regular paid passengers were directed to the check-in desks located in Terminal A.
At the check-in desk, I was welcomed by a very friendly agent and my boarding pass was handed. Interestingly boarding passes of all passengers were already printed and the employees were giving those boarding passes upon proof of identification. The airline should have experienced some failures the first day but that's quite normal.
Despite the fact that Avelo check-in desks are located in Terminal A, their flights depart from Terminal B. However, this shouldn't scare you as the distance between Terminal A and B is shorter than 2 minutes by walk.
Area allocated for a mini press event.
FIDS for the day.
Security was a breeze with only 5 minutes of wait, however, clearing security early in this airport might not make sense as the airside facilities are pretty limited. Also, due to the pandemic, half of the merchants located airside were closed.
Here is a photo of N801XT, an Avelo Airlines aircraft but not the one that would take me to Santa Rosa
The gate area was already crowded and press was ready for the opening talk of Andrew Levy, the owner & the CEO of the airline.
While waiting for that event, I have taken some photos of the Avelo jets in the tarmac.
And here is our bird, N802XT which would be the one taking all of us to Santa Rosa for the inaugural flight.
This aircraft has flown for Turkish Airlines in the past so that was an extra special fact for me, however, I haven't flown TC-JGG ( his previous registration ) while this bird was flying for TK.
Many av-geeks were already in the line trying to board first.
While waiting, I have realized that I was in group 6 ( the last group ) despite paying extra for Priority Boarding. That's why I have headed to the podium and the agent apologized for that, however, it was a known system issue and told me that it was going to be fixed.
The gate monitor
The gate area was getting crowded every minute.
And a few minutes later, the CEO Andrew Levy has arrived and started his speech.
And he is cutting the ribbon
Ground staff of the airline was present to celebrate this moment at the tarmac
Shortly after the ribbon was cut, boarding has started.
Obviously, COVID-19 protocols still in place, although no one observed the 6 feet social distance within the terminal but the mask compliance was great.
And after my boarding pass was scanned, I started to walk and during the boarding process, the CEO Andrew Levy was thanking every passenger individually for flying with them and handed a special flyer dedicated to this flight.
Another photo of N801XT which was parked next door
Here is a photo of N802XT, the aircraft which is going to operate this flight.
Some shots of the bird while climbing up the ramp
Information regarding this aircraft at the front door
After being welcomed by the cabin crew, I have headed to my seat 3A.
The seats are slimline seats which are ideal for flights shorter than 2 hours. They were not uncomfortable but they aren't the best seats around the industry.
My seat 3A was an extra-legroom seat with 31" pitch and as far as you see, the pitch is decent in this row.
The overhead panel
Our neighbor was this Alaska 737-700
People were filming and taking photos of this very exciting inaugural flight.
Also, while boarding was going on, I have heard something really interesting. Avelo Airlines was using the boarding music of Turkish Airlines which felt really good for me. It was really nice to hear that melody.
For those interested, here is the legroom in seats 2D-E-F which has the most generous legroom in the aircraft.
As you might imagine, no inflight magazine is being offered and the safety card was the only thing located in the seat pocket. Although, in the upcoming months the BoB menu would be joining the safety card. More coming regarding the service later in this report.
While boarding was going on, I also had the chance to take a photo with the captains inside the cockpit and have a small talk with them. They were really friendly and happy to be working with this airline.
While boarding was going on, the Alaska 737-700 next door was still there.
And finally, when boarding was completed, the CEO Andrew Levy, once again thanked us for flying Avelo and hoped that we would enjoy this flight.
And shortly later, we started our push back process
N613AS from another angle
The pushback marshall at that time
A Boeing 757 parked at the other side of the airport
We had a 5 minute taxi to the runway and at that time the safety demo was performed and the lead FA made another welcome announcement.
We're in the air and everyone started applauding at this moment.
Some photos after takeoff
Universal Studios, Hollywood
And heading northwards
Shortly after the seatbelt signs have been switched off, the cabin crew has started service, which consisted a snack bag
Normally, the airline plans to start Buy on Board service but at this time, passengers would be offered a snack bag with a disinfectant wipe, a bottle of water and a pack of biscuits.
Compared to legacy carriers that does not offer any service on shorter flights due to the pandemic, this is something great.
Shortly after takeoff, we were over the countryside and heading northwards.
At that time, one of the airline executives or managers ( don't remember who ), made an announcement thanking all of us for flying Avelo and told us that there would be a sparkling cider toss to celebrate the moment.
The sparkling cider tasted really good
Some photos during our cruise
A regional airport at California
During the flight, I have also visited the front lavatory which was clean during my visit.
By the way, the floor tiles are from the previous owner of the aircraft.
While cruising over the Bay Area, I was able to take a photo of San Jose Airport, SJC
More photos over the Bay Area
Downtown San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge
Downtown SF from another angle
While we were almost there the cabin crew has collected trash and made final preparations for landing.
Before landing, it was great to see beautiful scenery
We're still descending
And we have landed at STS - Santa Rosa Airport and an applause has started
As the runway is only 6000ft in Santa Rosa, the captains needed to brake a bit so that we could stop but they were successful, it should be a difficult landing for them.
Alaska and American regional jets at the terminal
A Cessna 172N
And after a short taxi, we have parked at parking position #4
Media has placed their cameras shortly after we reached our parking position
And shortly later, the ramp has been attached to door 1L.
After saying goodbye to the crew, I have left the aircraft and took this fuselage shot.
Upon arrival, the airport authority was handing souvenir bags and a cookie to each passenger.
And some other people from the surrounding area, was welcoming us with posters.
The cookie had the Avelo logo on it and was delicious.
Shortly after landing there was going to be another press event in a small room in the airport where Andrew Levy, the CEO made another speech with some local VIP's.
This report has come to an end.
The journey would continue in the next report which would be Avelo Airline's second ever flight.
Once again thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report
I would post a more detailed conclusion in the next report regarding Avelo Airlines.
However, taking this specific inaugural flight was a pleasure and I'm glad that I was a passenger of this flight and I really enjoyed flying on an inaugural flight of a brand new airline for the first time.