BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Amid great fanfare, the first Avelo Airlines flight left the Greater Binghamton Airport last night.

A Boeing Next Generation 737 took off for the main airport in Orlando, Florida with roughly 115 passengers on board.

It’s the first time a low-cost carrier has offered non-stop flights from Greater Binghamton to a leisure destination.

One-way, no-frills tickets were available for $59 using special discount codes.

The 737 seats 189 passengers with a cruising speed of 550 miles per hour, making the flight to Orlando between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the winds.

Broome County Aviation Commissioner Mark Heefner says the entire airport was abuzz with excitement.

“Speaking with Avelo Air, we actually have one of the fuller inaugural flights that they’ve had out of all of their inaugural flights. So, we’re really excited. It snowed last night, right? So, people are going to sunny and warm Orlando, Florida.”

Heefner says all of the ground handling and customer service positions are being staffed by county employees.

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce held a reception to celebrate the first new air service to come to our area in 2 decades.

The event featured music by Ragtime Rick Pedro, catering by Red and White, desserts by Gabriella’s, wine from Pleasant Valley Wine Company and Beer Tree created a special Mello Avelo beer for the occasion.

Passenger Anton Lucas of Binghamton used to drive to other cities for low-cost flights to Florida.

“What a savings. Just to drive here and fly for $42, really? I’m impressed. I already booked 3 more flights on Avelo and they’re even serving me beer.”

Avelo began flying in April 2021 with a focus on low fares from small convenient airports to vacation destinations.

It recently established a hub at the Orlando airport.

Greater Binghamton is its first market in New York State.

Head of Marketing Travis Christ says if the service is popular, there may be more flights in the future.

“We have more airplanes coming next year. We don’t know where we’re going to put them and some of it will be new cities and some of the places they will go will be existing cities. The cities that are doing well get more flights. It is as simple as that.”

Currently, Avelo is flying to and from Orlando year-round on Wednesdays and Saturdays with flights arriving in Binghamton in the early evening and leaving at around 8:15.

The airline had originally announced plans to also have 2 flights a week during the winter to Fort Myers but canceled them after the impacts of Hurricane Ian on that part of Florida.

Christ says they’ll consider reinstating them next year, depending on how well the Orlando flights sell.

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