Picture of a Plane Flying into the Clouds

Commercial Service Initiative, why Lakeland?

Located in the heart of central Florida, Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) provides airlines with lower operating costs, a simplified passenger experience, and access to the fastest growing region in the United States. In 2021 the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) grew by 3% from the 2020 U.S. Census estimates of 744,552 people. In addition, the smaller 15 zip code LAL catchment area (for those whom LAL would be closer than other airports by a large margin) is home to 476,221 people.

In December of 2023, the City of Lakeland announced a parternship between Lakeland Linder International Airport, Visit Central Florida, and Avelo Airlines to bring air service back to Lakeland in 2024.

Within the LAL catchment area alone, over 1.6 million passengers were generated in 2021 which is 2.8% of central Florida's airline demand (up from 2.7% before the pandemic began in 2019). This results in an average of 2,215 passengers per day or enough passenger demand to fill 29 76-seat regional jet departures daily. It should also be noted that LAL’s catchment area outperformed the rest of central Florida only down 15% from 2019 as compared to 20% elsewhere.

LAL continues to target direct service to our top five (5) markets based on 2021 O&D (Origin & Destination) data to include No.1 New York/Newark, No.2 Washington/Baltimore, No.3 Chicago, No. 4 Denver, and No. 5 Nashville. In addition, LAL continues to seek network service to Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Dulles via traditional network air carriers.

While we know not all 1.6 million passengers in our catchment area will choose LAL, there is a large enough demand for air service that LAL presents an attractive secondary market for airlines, such as Avelo, seeking access to the central Florida region while also serving our community’s travel needs.  

Lakeland Linder International Airport Airline Catchment Area 

This is a map of the central Florida region with 15 counties outlined which make up the Lakeland Airport passenger catchment area.