The pandemic has battered the U.S. airline industry but that hasn't scared newcomers from the business. Aha! Airlines announced it will begin flights to and from Reno-Tahoe International Airport in October.

Aha stands for "air, hotel, adventure". This new budget airline is based in Reno and focused on flights to and from Reno, will use 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets.
CEO Subodh Karnik, an airline industry veteran, said the company weighed its options and decided the pandemic presented opportunities, namely for nonstop service from smaller cities to vacation hotspots in the United States. With international travel largely off-limits and business travel not back, vacationers and travelers visiting friends and families have sustained airlines during the pandemic.

"We realized look, nobody wants to go to Machu Picchu or Paris.

They want to go to something much more (pandemic travel) friendly, at least for a while," he said. "To me, the Reno market is almost like the perfect place."
Reno has strong local traffic, casinos and a growing business base with new employers including a Tesla gigafactory, he said, and for vacationers is the gateway to Lake Tahoe, which offers year-round adventure including skiing, hiking and boating as well as casino gambling.

Aha is starting nonstop service from eight smaller cities/airports in California, Oregon and Washington using 50-seat regional jets, but Karnik said there is room to grow to 20. None of the cities had nonstop service to Reno. Travelers in those cities currently have to catch a connecting flight to Reno at a major airline hub.
The airline plans to add vacation packages to its website in the next few weeks.

Aha Airlines plans to offer nonstop flights from smaller West Coast cities to Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

"Basically what we are selling is the convenience of a reasonably priced, three-, two-, five-day vacation at a reasonable price to a vacation destination that has everything,'' Karnik said.
The airline plans to fly between Reno-Tahoe Airport and:

  • Pasco/Tri-Cities, WA: Oct. 24
  • Bakersfield, CA: Oct. 25
  • Medford/Ashland, OR: Oct. 31
  • Eugene/Springfield, OR: Nov. 1
  • Ontario, CA: Nov. 4.
  • Redmond/Bend, OR: Nov. 5
  • Eureka/Arcata, CA: Nov. 9
  • Fresno/Yosemite, CA: Nov. 10