TAMPA - Edelweiss Air announced today it will fly twice weekly from Tampa International Airport from March 4, 2014 through October 29, 2014.
Edelweiss Air launched service from Tampa International Airport on May 25, 2012, encouraged to test the Tampa Bay market with the help of more than $420,000 in fee waivers and marketing dollars provided by the airport for two years, as well as assistance from Bay area economic development and tourism agencies.
“The entire community showed its commitment to making sure Edelweiss would succeed and Edelweiss is showing us they are committed to this community by extending its service beyond the incentive period,” said airport CEO Joe Lopano.
Community partners, including Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Visit Tampa Bay, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Hillsborough County Economic Development Corporation, AAA Auto Club South and Visit Florida also contributed marketing cash and in-kind services to promote the flights, which have enjoyed load factors of more than 80 percent over the past 14 months.
“The investment climate created by key partners in the Tampa Bay area has created a new standard by which Edelweiss compares all new market,” said Michael Trestl, director of strategy and network development for the airline.
The airport expects to earn a 29 percent return on its incentive investment over the two-year incentive period, based on passenger fees and spending. Visitor spending in the region for the incentive period is estimated at $96 million, based on figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.
Edelweiss will operate an A330-300 with 36 business class seats and 296 economy class seats in the main cabin. The flight will depart Tampa on Tuesdays at 4:20 p.m. and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. The return flight will depart Zurich on Tuesdays at 9:45 a.m. and Friday’s at 1:30 p.m. Edelweiss’s Tampa-Zurich flight offers easy connections to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Tampa International Airport’s Tampa/Europe capacity will be up 87 percent in 2014 compared to 2010. Seats to London and Zurich will total 5,282 weekly in 2014, compared to 2,810 in 2010.
In the past two years, Tampa International Airport has seen a 28 percent increase in international passenger traffic, compared to a 4.4 percent increase in the previous two years.
The addition of four weekly flights to Panama beginning in December and the twice weekly flight on Edelweiss beginning in March should contribute to a continued growth in these numbers.