The former COO of Allegiant and CFO of United, Andrew Levy, acquired the operating certificate of Xtra Airways and used it to start ultra low cost carrier Avelo Airlines last year.
Avelo Airlines and Capital One announced a partnership to market Venture and Venture One cards to its passengers. Applying and getting approved for one of these cards through Avelo comes with an enhanced initial bonus and an airline-specific benefit.
- Venture: up to $200 in statement credits on Avelo flight purchases, and priority boarding on Avelo flights for one year.
- Venture One: up to $100 in statement credits on Avelo flight purchases, ● priority boarding on Avelo flights for one year.
This adds ‘competing with travel blogs’ like this one, One Mile at a Time, and The Points Guy to their business lines, in addition to flying passengers and charging them fees.
Mark Ross-Smith who runs StatusMatch.com and used to run the Malaysia Airlines Enrich frequent flyer program, has frequently made the point that “The money is clearly in loyalty… makes you wonder why these start-up airlines still think they can make money by selling seats.”
In order to be an attractive co-brand partner you need a large base of customers who are loyal to your brand. And ideally you have a currency and benefits those customers are willing to accelerate with their spend. There’s just not a huge opportunity on day one. And issuing your own crypto token may have seemed like a good grift last year, but no longer works for a pre-launch airline.
So Avelo has an interesting workaround. They’re not yet in a place to generate that sweet, sweet co-brand cash. But they can earn a commission on credit card signups while incentivizing those signups with:
- their own currency (a travel credit)
- benefits (priority boarding)
Credit: Avelo Airlines
If you live in one of Avelo’s 34 markets like Burbank; Nashville; All over Florida; Savannah; Baltimore; Charleston S.C.; Boise; Raleigh; or Chicago Mdiway then using the Avelo link to sign up is superior than using mine (and others) since you might benefit from priority boarding at some point within a year, plus you get that credit for an Avelo purchase. It’s interesting that they don’t have a deal with Venture X, perhaps thinking that the leisure-focused low cost carrier doesn’t align with the Venture X brand.
The deal can help them pay the cost of a flight attendants union that only 8 employees voted for. And you should use their links, instead of mine, to these two products if the Avelo-specific offer is valuable to you.