LVEDC Signs Fly Local ABE Pledge with Lehigh Valley International Airport
By Colin McEvoy on May 11, 2021
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has signed a pledge to Fly Local with the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), and encourages other organizations and businesses in the region to do the same.
The pledge is part of the newly-unveiled Fly Local ABE program, which urges participating companies and organizations to choose the Hanover Township, Lehigh County-based airport when possible for flights.
“We at the LVEDC choose to fly local at ABE,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.
“We realize we’re in a competitive market, with major airports not far away,” Cunningham said. “So it’s critical for those of us who can use the ABE airport to do so. And we want to lead by example by taking the pledge. I encourage everyone to use the ABE airport when you can.”
The Fly Local Travel Pledge asks participants to use ABE when a flight is available within four hours of travel time each way from flights at competing airports, and when the cost of the flight from ABE is within $200 of the lowest priced tickets at competing airports.
“Known for ease and convenience, ABE offers affordable options when you consider the travel time to other airports, tolls, fuel, and parking rates,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director, Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA). “We believe the pledge can serve as your ticket for exploring the many flight opportunities that exist right in your own neighborhood,”
Discover Lehigh Valley has also signed the Fly Local pledge. LVEDC, Discover Lehigh Valley, and ABE are all partners in Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, a marketing campaign that highlights the region’s diverse assets that make it a desirable community to visit, work, learn, and live, and seeks to enhance talent attraction and retention efforts for the region’s employers.
“Having a successful airport in the Lehigh Valley is invaluable, especially when highlighting the tourism industry,” said Alex Michaels, President & CEO of Discover Lehigh Valley. “This was an easy decision to support our regional airport and hopefully others will join us in signing the pledge.”
There is a direct correlation between increased usage at ABE and the potential for new routes. Any company or organization that signs the Fly Local travel pledge is encouraged to require vendors and suppliers who travel to the Lehigh Valley to follow the same guidelines.
“Airlines certainly monitor the load factors as they determine air service expansion plans, so the best way to promote air service growth is to choose ABE when traveling,” said Darren Betters, LNAA Director of Business Development.
ABE plays a pivotal role and impact on regional economic development in Lehigh Valley, and transportation resources are an important resource for site selectors and businesses considering where to locate a building or expand an existing one, Cunningham said.
Having a regionally-based airport like ABE is also helpful for foreign direct investment in the Lehigh Valley. When companies based overseas are seeking places in the United States for investment, it is critically important that they have quick access to their facilities via airports.
“Convenient access to flights for business or personal travel helps attract and retain employers,” Cunningham said. “ABE connects Lehigh Valley travelers to the world, without the stress of getting to and through airports in bigger cities.”
Allegiant Air, American, Delta and United have 15 nonstop flights through ABE to both leisure destinations and major airline hubs with connections to the world.
Destinations include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach (seasonal), Nashville, Newark, Punta Gorda, Orlando/Sanford, Sarasota (seasonal), Savannah/HiltonHead (seasonal), Clearwater / St. Petersburg, and Washington, D.C.
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This column, written by LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham, originally appeared in The Morning Call and on the newspaper's website on May 6, 2021. (Click here to read Cu[...]Continue to Next Page