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TIA celebrates new service

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  • | 4:11 p.m. May 25, 2012
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  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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TAMPA — To welcome its newest service, Tampa International Airport is hosting a celebration for Edelweiss Air's first nonstop flights between Tampa and Zurich.

The airport will host two parties: a welcome beach party for travelers arriving from Zurich and an alpine-themed farewell gate party for travelers bound for Switzerland.

Edelweiss Air will fly between Tampa and Zurich Tuesdays and Fridays during the summer and will have one flight per week in the winter. The airline will use an Airbus A330 with 36 business-class seats and 296 economy seats.

According to a release from the airport, the Zurich service is expected to have an economic impact of $32 million for Tampa Bay and create more than 250 jobs.

“This is a milestone for Tampa Bay,” Airport CEO Joe Lopano said in a news release announcing the new service earlier this month. “It's the airport's first new nonstop flight to mainland Europe in years. By opening this door to Zurich, a city that offers easy connections to destinations throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, we're creating exciting new tourism and business opportunities for the entire Tampa Bay region.”

Courting new international flights has been a goal for Lopano to increase TIA's traffic, a strategy he discussed with the Business Review in October.

For the first six months of the airport's 2012 fiscal year, TIA saw a 19.8% increase in international traffic over the same period in 2011. The airport attributes the increase to new flights to Cuba and a growth in passengers on British Airways and Canadian travelers.

Total passenger traffic is up 1.1% during the first half of fiscal 2012 compared with the same period last year, and net revenues are up 3.6%, about $3 million.


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