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Business Observer Thursday, Jun. 10, 2021 3 days ago

Airlines add new routes, including to LA and first nonstop to Oregon

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Tampa International Airport announces new flights to four cities, including L.os Angeles. and Portland

TAMPA — The number of places you can fly to out of Tampa is growing.

Tampa International Airport announced five new routes Thursday just a couple of weeks after Breeze Airways debuted its new service.

The new routes include nonstop flights from Tampa to Portland, Oregon on Alaska Airlines and from Tampa to Los Angeles on American Airlines.

With the Los Angeles route, as well as flights to Nashville and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, American will become Tampa International’s second largest carrier behind Southwest Airlines.

In a statement, airport officials said the addition of the new routes shows “the tremendous amount of potential airlines see in the Tampa Bay market and its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Alaska Airline’s flight to Portland International Airport is seasonal and will begin Dec. 16. Flights are expected to depart four days a week until April 18.

Portland, according to the statement, is one of the destinations travelers look for the most, so the new route “provides a strong nonstop connection to two markets with deep business and leisure ties.”

The statement says the Alaska Airlines' route to Portland is “a first for TPA.” An online search found dozens of flights to Portland, but they all included layovers. And the airport’s website did not list Portland as one of about 40 national and international destinations with nonstop flights.

Tampa International’s CEO Joe Lopano says in the statement that the new route is a “huge win” and “now gives us an important connection to the West Coast and one that we’ve been pursuing for years.”

American’s daily nonstop service to Los Angeles International Airport begins Oct. 7.  The twice-daily service to Nashville International and Raleigh-Durham International airports begin Nov. 2.

The announcement of the new flights is the latest bit of news to come out of Tampa International in recent weeks.

Breeze Airways, founded by Jet Blue’s founder David Neeleman, flew its inaugural flight from Tampa to Charleston, S.C. May 27.

And last month the airport said about 400 Frontier Airlines crew members — 250 flight attendants and 140 pilots — would be based in Tampa. That number is expected to increase.  

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