Every airline but two have suffered significantly this past year during the coronavirus pandemic. In fat, U.S. travel on airlines was less than half of their normal amount. For some airlines much less than half.
The two airlines that felt no pain the past year are the two new domestic airlines that plan on launching very soon.
Both are founded and driven (or flown) by successful industry veterans who are now wearing the wings of entrepreneurs and business owners.
Avelo Airlines is the brainchild of Andrew Levy, the former president of Allegiant Air.
Levy purchased a charter airline called XTRA Airways three years ago, branded its Avelo, and it will be the next low-fare airline servicing smaller airports that fly into larger cities.
There are others like this that focus on customer service and a better flying experience.
Based in Houston, Avelo is planning on their first flights originating in April, after scratching his original plans of getting it off the ground last November.
Breeze Airways is another new airline based west of the Mississippi, calling Salt Lake City Home.
The founder is David Neeleman, who has experienced launching airlines in the past, including WestJet and JetBlue.
He is targeting airports that were hit especially hard during the pandemic. He told the New York Times an advantage his airline has is the ability to cherry-pick the routes that offer the most opportunity. That way a new airline can focus on specific routes, and maximize their potential before moving on to others.
One reason new airlines are popping up is a belief that there is a need to service smaller metropolitan areas because the big carriers have pulled back significantly on total flights. It affected smaller and mid-size markets the most.
Both executives feel the time is right because cutbacks in the airline industry have put a lot to find experienced airline staff into the talent pool, and they can ramp up quickly with quality employees.
The improved economy is in the corner of these two new airlines, and so is an almost unprecedented pent-up demand for Americans to start traveling again.