Avelo Airlines is preparing to begin operations at Lakeland Linder International Airport.

Whether your destination is Kalispell, Montana or San Juan, Puerto Rico, you’ll soon be able to consider flights from another Tampa Bay area airport to meet your travel needs.

A new option for Tampa Bay travelers is on the horizon as Avelo Airlines prepares for passenger service at Lakeland Linder International Airport.

Agreements between Avelo Airlines, Visit Central Florida and the airport were approved by the Lakeland City Commission in December 2023, clearing the way for the budget air carrier to begin operations there. According to Avelo’s website, the airline currently operates out of 43 airports with regular and seasonal schedules.

Avelo is establishing itself as an airline flying in and out of smaller airports that can provide convenience to travelers living farther away from major air hubs. Besides the aforementioned Big Sky Country and La Isla del Encanto destinations, other locations serviced by Avelo include airports in Eugene, Oregon; Dubuque, Iowa; and Rochester, New York, among others. Besides smaller, local airports, Avelo also flies in and out of larger ones, such as Tampa International Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

As for when Avelo begins operations at Lakeland Linder, there is no announced date or flight schedule as of our press time. According to a Facebook post by Lakeland Linder International Airport, “There are several improvement projects needed for passenger operations to commence at LAL. Once those projects are on track, Avelo Airlines will start providing additional details to include a start date, routes and service frequency.”

Those improvements are covered in the Airline Operating Agreement, Airline Facilities Construction and Lease Agreement and an Air Carrier Incentive Program that the Lakeland City Commission approved.

The new passenger service is expected to contribute to Lakeland’s profile as one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and officials are pleased.

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.”

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Brad Stager
Avian-named publications have figured prominently in Brad Stager's career. Besides writing for the Osprey Observer, he started out writing sports articles for the Seahawk, a weekly newspaper serving the military community aboard Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. That position followed a career documenting life in the Fleet, from the Straits of Magellan to the North Arabian Sea, as a Navy Photographer's Mate. Since settling in the Tampa Bay area, Brad has produced a variety of written, visual and aural content for clients ranging from corporate broadcasters to small businesses.