Updated: Avelo adding Lakeland Fl to route map following OK from city commission


The Lakeland, FL approved a 15-year agreement with Lakeland Linder International Airport, Visit Central Florida, and Avelo Airlines, Lkldnow Now reported.

Wilmington Airport (ILG) is one of Avelo’s operating bases. Avelo did not announce destinations, although its bases in New Haven and Wilmington are believed to be candidates for service. Avelo serves smaller airports, often near large metro areas. Lakeland is a city of 115,000 located between Orlando and Tampa.

Earlier, Avelo announced the end of service to Melbourne, another Orlando area airport, citing low traffic numbers. Avelo initially announced Melbourne as a destination from Wilmington but never launched service. Avelo offers flights from Wilmington three to five times a week to Orlando and Tampa.

The agreement package goes before the Lakeland City Commission for final action on Monday. No timeframe was announced for the service, although flights could start in May or June, LkldNow reported.

Under the agreement before the commission:

  • As an incentive, the city will spend up to $30,000 a year marketing the passenger service for two years. It will also partner with Polk County to put tourism information and a visitor information desk in the terminal building.
  • Johnson Laux Construction will complete about $1.6 Million of upgrades, including expansion of the passenger security
  • The Airline Operating Agreement with Avelo would take effect on May 1 and is for a term of 15 years with one five-year option.

Lakeland City Manager Shawn Sherrouse said, “We are excited to partner with Avelo Airlines to provide passenger services in and out of our Lakeland Linder International Airport.  This relationship will further diversify the tremendous economic benefits and services that our community receives from our airport. We are confident that Lakeland will assist Avelo in advancing their founding purpose, ‘To Inspire Travel’, and welcome the many visitors that will come to know Lakeland because of the travel options Avelo and the City of Lakeland will provide.”       

The official destination marketing organization for Polk County, Visit Central Florida and Avelo have also agreed to terms on an Airline Marketing Partnership that will promote Polk County to the various markets served through the airport.

Avelo Head of Brand and Communications Jim Olson said, “We are excited about the opportunity for Avelo to bring scheduled commercial air service to Lakeland Linder International Airport. In the months ahead, we’ll share more details about our plans for serving Lakeland. We are thankful for the enthusiastic support Avelo has received from the Lakeland community, as well as from city and county leaders. We are especially appreciative of the dedicated professionals at the Lakeland Linder International Airport.”

Lakeland Linder International Airport is in Lakeland, Florida.  It is the 95th busiest airport in the United States, with over 143,000 aircraft operations annually.

Lakeland Linder International Airport is home to the NOAA Hurricane Hunters aircraft.