United Airlines announced today it will begin nonstop daily service between Tampa and San Francisco beginning February 16, 2017.
“We want to be the airline that our Tampa Bay area customers choose first when booking travel to the West Coast,” said Michael Brooks, United’s Sales Manager in Tampa. “Our customers told us that service to San Francisco is important for business and leisure and we are responding with daily, nonstop service. This flight connects Tampa’s growing technology industry directly to Silicon Valley and provides easy access to international destinations through our premier gateway to the Asia Pacific region.”
United will fly a 737-800 with 16 United First seats and 150 United Economy and Economy Plus seats. The flight leaves San Francisco daily at 8:30 a.m. and arrives in Tampa at 4:51 p.m. It will depart Tampa at 5:50 p.m. and arrive in San Francisco at 8:45 p.m.
“San Francisco has long been a top air service development priority for the airport team and our partners,” said Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “And once again, working together with our regional economic development groups and tourism bureaus, we’ve logged a big win. I can’t even count the number of times I have been asked: When will we have a flight to San Francisco? Now I have an answer: February. I extend a sincere thanks to all those who have worked so hard to make this a reality.”
Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board Chairman Robert Watkins said the new flight strengthens TPA as the top gateway to the west coast of Florida.
“We are now connected to one of the greatest cities in America, a gateway to Asia, a great tourism destination and the home of some of the best restaurants and wineries in the world,” said Aviation Authority Chairman Robert Watkins. “I couldn’t be more excited and proud.”
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, also member of the Aviation Authority board, called the flights a “huge win for the airport team and a huge win for the city of Tampa.”
“These nonstop flights from our nation’s high-tech center will help us as we continue to grow our own high-tech sector here in the other Bay area,” he said. “And to our friends in San Francisco looking for a little more sunshine in their lives, it means it will be easier for them to come check out all the great things we have to offer: Our incredible foodie scene, our dynamic Riverwalk, our museums and nightlife.”
"Thank you United! The timing of the new route is perfect for access to San Francisco and beyond," said Tampa International’s Vice President of Marketing Chris Minner. “The flight meshes well with United’s international flights to Asia. That sets up some really exciting new opportunities for leisure and business travel.”
Nearly 600 people travel daily between the two regions already, making the Tampa to San Francisco Bay Area connection the most underserved route in America. Close to 1,400 people recently joined TPA’s Facebook group #TPA2SF to lend their voices in support of the new route. They talked about tourism, visiting family and friends, and business development.
“This new route will be tremendous for local companies and our burgeoning tech scene,” said Bob Rohrlack, president and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. “We’ve heard time and time again about the importance of this connection to the local economy. I’m happy to see it become a reality.”
“This nonstop flight to San Francisco will eliminate one of the major barriers companies see when they look to relocate to Tampa Bay,” said Craig J. Richard, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. “Recruiting new businesses just got that much easier.”
Local tourism officials say they’re ready to tout Bay area beaches and attractions on the country’s west coast
“Warm water, year-round sunshine and some of the world’s best beaches are waiting for San Francisco Bay area residents,” said David Downing, executive director of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater. “We are excited that this flight will finally provide a direct link to two of the world's greatest Bay Areas.”
“We look forward to working together as a team to sell the Tampa Bay market to San Francisco residents,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay.