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Lakeland Linder International Airport Has Agreement with Avelo Airlines for Passenger Air Service - City News Blog

LAKELAND, FL (December 15, 2023) | The City of Lakeland is pleased to announce that an agreement package has been reached between Lakeland Linder International Airport (LLIA), Visit Central Florida (VCF) and Avelo Airlines that paves the way for the return of commercial passenger air service.  The agreement package goes before the Lakeland City Commission for approval on Monday, December 18, 2023.

The City and Avelo Airlines have agreed to terms on an Airline Operating Agreement, Airline Facilities Construction and Lease Agreement and an Air Carrier Incentive Program.  These agreements work together outlining specific operating requirements to include fees and incentives based on Avelo’s level of service at LLIA.

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."       

Airport Director Kris Hallstrand said, “This is the beginning of a great business relationship and I believe Avelo is the right partner for our community at the right time. One theme the Airport consistently hears from the community is the growing need for air service. While this announcement heralds a new chapter in the airport’s story, there is still much work to be done before air service starts.” 

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

Director of Visit Central Florida Mark Jackson said, “The law of supply and demand even applies to airlines. We are confident that once folks around the country learn more about Polk County, they’ll want to come and learn why we’re Florida’s sweetest spot.”  The Marketing Partnership goes before the Polk County Board of County Commissioners for final approval on Tuesday, December 19, 2023.

Airport Assistant Director Adam Lunn added, “Currently, the Airport and Avelo are working on plans for required facility improvements. Our team is hard at work planning the improvements needed to accept commercial flights in the future. Some of the work needed includes an expanded security screening checkpoint, parking lot modifications, and aircraft apron markings, among others.”

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."

The Lakeland City Commission will review and decide on approval of the agreement package on Monday, December 18, 2023, and If approved:

  • The city will spend up to $30K a year in marketing the passenger service for two years, as an incentive. 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 screening checkpoint, adding additional hold room seating, and improving rental car offices.
  • A one-way exit lane will also be installed for disembarking passengers while also protecting the secured areas of the airport, for a cost of $95,000.  Dormakaba USA will install the new system by March 31.
  • The Airline Operating Agreement with Avelo would take effect on May 1 and is for a term of 15 years with one 5-year option.

Lakeland Linder International Airport is in Lakeland, Florida.  It is the 95th busiest airport in the United States with over 143,000 aircraft operations taking place annually. The airport is an economic engine bringing over $1.5 Billion in economic impact to the region.  Lakeland Linder International Airport is home to the world-famous NOAA Hurricane Hunters, Central Florida Aerospace Academy, the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo and Draken International.

About Avelo Airlines

Avelo Airlines was founded with a simple purpose — to Inspire Travel. The airline offers Customers time and money-saving convenience, low everyday fares, and a refreshingly smooth and caring experience through its Soul of Service culture. Operating a fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, Avelo serves 44 popular destinations across the United States, including its six bases at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), Southern Connecticut’s Tweed-New Haven Airport (HVN), Orlando International Airport (MCO), the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley region’s Wilmington Airport (ILG), Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) and Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS). For more information visit AveloAir.com or the Avelo Newsroom at AveloAir.com/Newsroom.


Kevin Cook
Director of Communications
City of Lakeland

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida.  With a current population of over 100,000 Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years.  With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor.  The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 115 years ago. 

For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please visit www.lakelandgov.net.  Citizens are also invited to follow the City on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Snapchat and Nextdoor.  Citizens can find the City of Lakeland on these social media platforms by searching lakelandgov. 



For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
Citizens are also invited to follow the City on social media.