Tampa International Airport (File)

Tampa International Airport Announces New Service And New Destination

TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa International Airport is celebrating two major new air service announcements today that helps strengthen Tampa Bay’s connections throughout the country and restore service beyond pre-pandemic levels.

On Thursday, Alaska Airlines announced the launch of new nonstop service between Tampa and Portland (PDX) beginning Dec. 16. Meanwhile, also on Thursday, American Airlines said it will start nonstop daily service to Los Angeles (LAX) beginning Oct. 7, and twice-daily service to Nashville (BNA) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU) launching Nov. 2.

The new connection with Portland aboard Alaska Airlines is a first for TPA and connects Tampa Bay with one of its largest unserved destinations, while American Airlines’ announcement will allow their service to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

Both moves, in addition to the recent launch of Breeze Airways, signal the tremendous amount of potential airlines see in the Tampa Bay market and its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled that American and Alaska see the same opportunity in Tampa Bay that we see,” said Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “Our future is bright and we are extremely grateful that our airlines continue to grow and succeed at TPA.”

The service with Portland, one of TPA’s most in-demand destinations, provides a strong nonstop connection to two markets with deep business and leisure ties.

“This huge win for Tampa International Airport now gives us an important connection to the West Coast and one that we’ve been pursuing for years,” said Lopano. “Tampa Bay residents have been clamoring for this service, and we’re beyond thrilled Alaska Airlines is growing its presence here with this exciting new route.”

The seasonal service is expected to operate four days a week between Dec. 16 and April 18 aboard a Boeing 737. Flights will leave Portland at 12:10 p.m., arriving in Tampa at 8:29 p.m. Departing flights will leave TPA the following day at 8 a.m., arriving in Portland at 11 a.m.

“Since March, our bookings for leisure travel have exceeded what they were before the pandemic. For many of our guests, there’s an increased confidence that comes after being vaccinated. They were cooped up for well over a year – now they’re ready to relax, enjoy and explore,” said Brett Catlin, Vice President of Network and Alliances at Alaska Airlines. “With these new routes, we can whisk them away to destinations that have a warm sparkle in the wintertime.”

The new American service makes the airline TPA’s second-largest carrier, and brings strong competition to multiple destinations.

“Any time an airline adds more service at TPA it’s a win for our region, but American’s addition of five new daily point-to-point flights – including a transcontinental nonstop to LAX – is a terrific demonstration of its confidence in our vibrant market,” said Lopano. “We’re very appreciative to the entire American team and look forward to helping make these new flights a hit.”

The announcement of these additional routes comes as many U.S. airlines are seeking to maximize evolving opportunities during the pandemic. In 2020, American began launching more point-to-point service to connect cities directly rather than through its traditional hub-and-spoke model.

“As more people take to the skies, American Airlines is helping customers reconnect with friends and loved ones by providing more choice, convenience, and flexibility than ever before,” said Brian Znotins, American’s Vice President of Network Planning. “New year-round service to Los Angeles as well as the growing Raleigh and Nashville markets builds on our strategy to offer customers the industry’s best network, with easy access to hundreds of destinations across the globe.”

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