The Lakeland Economic Take Off!

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December 20, 2023
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If you haven’t already noticed, my enthusiasm for Lakeland is unwavering, and recent developments are only solidifying my belief in the city's promising future. My relocation to Lakeland was driven by the city's business potential and job opportunities. The recent announcement of the agreement between Lakeland International Airport and Avelo Airlines for commercial passenger flights is a significant stride forward.

You might be wondering, who is Avelo? Avelo Airlines, a low-cost carrier, took its inaugural flight in 2021. Originating in 2004 as Casino Express Airlines, primarily providing charter flights for casino trips, it later rebranded as Xtra Airways in 2008. In 2019, the airline underwent a transformative acquisition by Andrew Levy, a seasoned professional in the low-cost carrier industry. The rebranding resulted in the adoption of the catchy name "Avelo," signifying "to bring forth" in Portuguese, along with a vibrant orange livery.

Avelo's business model revolves around offering ultra-low fares by optimizing operational costs. This includes operating fuel-efficient Boeing 737-800 aircraft, maintaining a single cabin class (economy), and utilizing secondary airports with lower landing fees than major hubs. By concentrating on secondary airports, Avelo caters to travelers from smaller communities seeking a more convenient alternative to larger, bustling airports. This strategy strategically positions Avelo to evade competition from established low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier, marking it as an exciting player in the ultra-low-cost carrier market.

The Lakeland Ledger recently highlighted Avelo's performance compared to other airlines:

[Link to the article:]

This development is monumental for Lakeland. Why? The two nearest airports, Orlando and Tampa, are each about an hour away (excluding I4 traffic). This will undoubtedly stimulate the local economy as more people opt for flights, contributing to increased city revenue through taxes. Moreover, the accessibility provided by Avelo's affordable flights is poised to attract more tourists, further expanding the city's appeal. This is just the beginning, and as destination options grow, the usage of this airline is expected to soar. With more business influx, a growing population, increased city spending, and a focus on high-tech jobs, Lakeland is gearing up for substantial economic growth!

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