There’s a new airline in town.
Avelo Airlines will be the sixth airline to offer flights at McGhee Tyson Airport, breaking into the Knoxville market with new nonstop service to New Haven, Connecticut.
Starting May 9, Avelo will fly Thursdays and Sundays from McGhee Tyson to Tweed-New Haven Airport on Boeing Next-Generation 737 planes. Introductory low one-way fares will start at $62, according to a press release.
This route connects Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the picturesque towns of New England, two major tourist destinations in the U.S.
The arrival of another airline is a testament to the growth of Knoxville and record passenger traffic at the airport. In 2023, the Knoxville airport served 2.81 million passengers, the most in its 86-year history.
“We are growing organically with existing airlines, but we also have other airlines that are very interested in coming here and we’re proving that we can have a new airline come and establish service and be successful,” Brian Simmons, chair of the airport’s board of commissioners, told Knox News.
Other airlines offering flights from Knoxville are Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier and United. Together, the six airlines now offer flights to 28 destinations.
After a year with 10 consecutive months of record passenger traffic, the successful recruitment of another airline could mean fewer Knoxville passengers drive to Nashville or Atlanta to catch a flight, a key to attracting even more flight and airline options.
The announcement was made the morning of Feb. 6 at the airport terminal building, and it’s not the only kind of growth coming to McGhee Tyson.
Avelo connecting Knoxville to New Haven, Connecticut
Tweed-New Haven Airport is located on Connecticut’s coast and is a gateway to the 15 towns that make up Greater New Haven.
New Haven is the second-largest city in Connecticut and home to Yale University.
It also makes visiting the wider New England and New York regions easier.
“New Haven is kind of the gateway to New York,” said Avelo spokesperson Courtney Goff. “By the time you get to Tweed and take a train over to New York City, you’re probably still on the runway at LaGuardia.”
The introductory $62 fares between Knoxville and New Haven are for travel May 9-21. Fares must be booked by Feb. 13 and are available on a limited number of flights and seats. Learn more at AveloAir.com.
About Avelo Airlines
Avelo, pronounced “uh-vell-oh,” was founded in 2021 and serves 47 destinations in 23 states and Puerto Rico.
The airline brand distinguishes itself by flying unserved routes at smaller, easy-to-use airports across the country.
It also boasts one-third of its seats are “extra leg room seats.”
“Avelo customers can always change or cancel their itineraries with no extra fees,” the press release said.
The airline reports the lowest flight cancellation rate in the U.S. and a No. 2 ranking for reliability, according to a third-party data platform.
It has hubs in:
- Los Angeles
- New Haven
- Orlando, Florida
- Wilmington, Delaware
- Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
- Las Vegas
- It’s opening another hub in the Bay Area this spring.
Knoxville airport parking is changing
Beginning this year, the airport will expand its parking and terminal building for the next phase of its life as a bustling regional aviation hub.
On Feb. 5, the airport closed its long-term surface parking lot to prepare for the construction of a $180 million parking garage, expected to open in 2026. Once the garage is complete, the airport will embark on a terminal expansion, adding six gates by 2029.
The airport will consider tearing down its current parking garage in the early 2030s, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority President Patrick Wilson told Knox News in December.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Daniel Dassow is a growth and development reporter focused on technology and energy. Phone 423-637-0878. Email [email protected].
Support strong local journalism by subscribing at knoxnews.com/subscribe.