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Business Observer Friday, Jul. 16, 2021 11 months ago

Flights to Canada resuming

Air Canada begins flying to Toronto out of Tampa International Airport July 17

TAMPA—Air Canada will resume flying to Toronto out of Tampa International Airport beginning Saturday July 17. For now, the flights will be limited to weekends.

The resumption of the single nonstop route is the first time since January that flyers have been able to fly to Canada from Tampa because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Before the pandemic, three airlines flew to several cities in Canada from Tampa International, including flights to Montreal, Winnipeg and Halifax.

But air travel between Tampa and Canada has been pretty much shut down since April 2020 when the pandemic first hit and travel was restricted. Air Canada did resume flying limited, seasonal flights between Toronto and Tampa in October, but COVID and restrictions shut that down in January.

It is not clear when the full slate of flights will return.

Canada, airport officials say in a statement, is the top international visitor market into Tampa, with 436,773 passengers in 2019. COVID restrictions caused that drop 66% in 2020 to 147,798 passengers.

Airport official say in a statement that connecting Tampa to Canada is important to the economy of the airport and the region. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater found that in 2019 Canadians spent more than $265 million in Tampa Bay, according to the statement.

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