Low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines announced a new nonstop route between Tampa International Airport and Lexington, Kentucky, beginning on Nov. 11. One-way introductory fares start at $39.
Flights will operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This will be the second Avelo route from the Tampa airport, joining a service to Tweed New Haven Airport in Connecticut. This is the first Tampa-Lexington nonstop connection offered by any airline in 17 years, said Emily Nipps, the airport’s communications director.
Avelo is also offering service to Lexington from Orlando starting Oct. 19.
The company is a relatively new addition to the industry, launching last spring with one-way fares as low as $19 from its base at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Southern California.
The launch comes as airline executives are facing a barrage of criticism from the public, lawmakers and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for a slew of summer flight delays and cancellations. The disruptions prompted public finger-pointing, but airlines themselves are the biggest reason for delays in recent months and bear responsibility for an unusually high share of cancellations, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal data.
In Tampa, the pandemic brought drastic drops in passenger numbers and nearly $1 billion in construction delays. But the airport, which consistently ranks high in national customer satisfaction surveys, has recovered faster than most. It flies to more destinations now than before the pandemic, and passengers have returned to the sky in record numbers.
Earlier this month, Virgin Atlantic announced the launch of year-round flights between Tampa and London’s busiest airport, London Heathrow.