(July 3, 2018) Spirit Airlines to Asheville and Greensboro. Frontier airlines to Greenville-Spartanburg. Sun Country to Madison, Dallas-Ft. Worth and St. Louis. An exciting new international carrier to London.
In the month of June alone, Tampa International Airport announced the addition of seven new nonstop flights, four of which will fly to previously unserved markets. This brings the Airport’s total number of nonstop destinations to 87 – a number that is expected to grow even more in coming months and years.
"The fact that TPA is a central piece of these airlines’ growth strategy demonstrates the vitality of our market,” TPA Director of Research and Air Service Development Kenneth Strickland said. “Airlines are continuing to see that Tampa Bay is a well-balanced market, benefiting from a strong mix of business and leisure traffic."
The air service announcements have been coming in seemingly rapid-fire procession, with Spirit announcing new flights between TPA and Asheville and Greensboro, N.C., on June 12 and 13, followed by Frontier’s announced service to Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., on June 19. Then on June 25, TPA announced that Norwegian Air was coming to Tampa on Oct. 31 with twice-a-week flights to London Gatwick. The next day came the news that Sun Country, which has operated Cuba charter flights out of TPA for years, will soon offer a new nonstop route to Madison, Wis., as well as Dallas-Ft. Worth and St. Louis.
The announcements come as no surprise to those who have been projecting large passenger growth for the past few years, underscoring the need for the recent completed expansion, SkyConnect and Rental Car Center, as well as the future curbside expansion and other planned projects. TPA saw a record number of passengers in 2017, as well as a record spring break in March and April. Given the number of new flights coming this fall, those numbers should soar even more by the holiday season.
While international growth, which has seen a more than 120 percent increase over the past seven years, has been a top focus at TPA, growth of domestic service has been a strong factor in the rapidly rising passenger numbers. During the first eight months of Fiscal Year 2018, TPA has seen an 8.8 percent increase in domestic. This represents more than 1.1 million more passengers over the same time last year.