Direct flights to Orlando, Florida, are coming to Lansing’s airport this fall.
Houston, Texas-based Avelo Airlines, which describes itself as an ultra-low fare airline, will offer two flights a week to Orlando beginning in October from the Capital Region International Airport.
Avelo will be the only airline offering non-stop flights to Orlando from the Lansing area and is likely the first airline to start a regular passenger route out of Lansing in 15 years, said Andrew Levy, CEO of the airline.
Levy spoke to the Lansing State Journal ahead of a public announcement of the new route.
The company will offer an introductory rate of $59 for one-way flights booked by the end of July and completed before Feb. 15. The airline takes bookings at AveloAir.com.
The flights will be on Thursdays and Sundays with regular service beginning Oct. 27.
There will be an introductory flight on Oct. 26, leaving Lansing’s airport at 5 p.m. and landing in Florida at 7:40 p.m., with a flight leaving Orlando at 12:15 p.m. and returning to Lansing at 3 p.m. the same day.
There are about 425 passengers a day who leave Lansing and end up in Orlando, through connecting flights, said Nicole Noll-Williams, president and CEO of the airport.
“Orlando is the No. 1 destination for 60 miles around here,” she said.
The new flight will benefit vacationers, business people and Orlando is one of the nation’s top convention destinations, Noll-Williams said.
There have been expansions at the airport recently, including a major cargo upgrade and the airport is in talks for land development, she said.
But a direct flight to Orlando?
“People get to use it, they feel it right away,” Noll-Williams said.
The Lansing airport includes regular routes on American and Delta airlines to Detroit, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said the nonstop flights are good for Lansing area residents.
He said bringing young kids through airports to make connections is never the highlight of a vacation, so the new flights will help make trips easier.
Levy was with Allegiant Airlines in the early 2000s when it began offering service out of Lansing. The airline stopped an Orlando route in 2015, and other flights also disappeared around that time.
Levy said he knows Lansing is a good market and if demand is what the company expects it to be, there could be additional flights out of Lansing in the future.
The flights will be on a 737-700, which has 147 seats, and a 737-800, which has 189 seats.
About a third of the seats have extra leg room and can be purchased for additional cost.
The airline is one of the newest in the United States, starting about a year and a half ago, with 27 destinations, including major hubs in Burbank, California, New Haven, Connecticut and Orlando.
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Contact Mike Ellis at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @MikeEllis_AIM