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The President’s Pen: Salem Takes Flight

Written by Jesse Lippold Peone III on Oct. 12th, 2023
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In a pivotal moment for Salem, Avelo Airlines inaugurated its first commercial flight from Salem this month, marking the city’s re-emergence into the aviation sector since the early 2000s. Not merely a cost-effective and convenient option, the revival of commercial flights symbolizes a maturing community and reflects the Salem Community’s collective ambition for continuous improvement.

The introduction of commercial aviation in Salem promises to cascade numerous positive impacts across the community, shaping the trajectory of its economic future by enhancing consumer convenience, creating jobs, and propelling economic and business growth.

Avelo Airlines is offering expedient and affordable flights to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, presenting a transformative alternative to the previously arduous journey to Portland for travel. Residents will now be afforded a significantly reduced travel time, avoiding the typically congested, 1-2 hour drive to Portland International Airport (PDX). Anticipation builds at the prospect of expanding flight offerings to other cities, such as Seattle, contingent upon establishing a robust demand.

The convenience of air travel enables residents to explore, learn, and establish connections, enriching the diverse community fabric of Salem.

Furthermore, the advent of flights to and from Salem opens vistas for augmented tourism, becoming an instrumental force as the city evolves. Salem, renowned for its cultural, historical, and natural allure, emerges as a newly accessible destination for tourists, visiting parents of college students, relatives, and officials alike. Local businesses, sights, and attractions anticipate embracing a wider visitor demographic, thereby energizing the local tourism industry.

Beyond mere convenience and cost-effectiveness, the Salem Airport also heralds the creation of myriad employment opportunities. The initiation of Avelo Airlines operations introduces a wealth of direct job openings, from aviation specialists to additional TSA employees and from baggage handlers to pilots. In the grander scheme, the influx of tourists and business travelers will stimulate demand across various service sectors, such as accommodation, dining, and entertainment, diversifying and enhancing the overall employment landscape.

The arrival of Avelo Airlines in Salem symbolizes more than a mere expansion of transportation alternatives; it represents a pivotal long-term investment with substantial implications for the local economy and businesses. Establishing direct air connections facilitates the unimpeded exchange of goods, services, and ideas, enhancing Salem’s reach into broader markets. Enhanced connectivity not only provides access to our products and services in external markets but also attracts investments and collaborations, forging valuable relationships with other cities and elevating our local economy.

Moreover, improved connectivity positions Salem as a viable host for business events, such as conferences, workshops, and trade shows, offering a stage for economic interaction and innovation exchange. Local businesses stand to benefit from an infusion of ideas, partnerships, and investments, propelling the region towards sustained economic vitality and stability.

Thanks are extended to Brent DeHart, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Travel Salem, City Counsel, and numerous local community and business leaders from the Fly Salem group, who have been integral in actualizing commercial flight in Salem. Their unified efforts, vision, and steadfast support have been pivotal in steering the Salem community toward a future promising economic resilience, diverse employment opportunities, and vibrant cultural exchange.

The reintroduction of commercial flight to Salem represents more than the onset of a new air service; it marks the inception of a future that heralds increased tourism, an enhanced consumer experience, job creation, and economic development for the community.

Jesse Lippold Peone III

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