Tampa International airport is leveraging the success of its recent international launches to attract new flights, focusing on Europe and Latin America.
“This is a great opportunity to start conversations,” says Justin Meyer, director of air service development at the Florida airport, on the World Routes forum. Tampa’s new nonstop to Panama City on Copa Airlines from December began as discussions at the conference two years ago, he says.
Bogota, Germany, Mexico City and Sao Paulo are Tampa’s top priorities for new international service.
Meyer says that the airport is citing it’s past international successes and significant traffic growth – international boardings were up 20% in 2012 – to land new service. Two of the its existing international airlines - Edelweiss Air, which began service in 2012, and British Airways - are increasing capacity, he adds.
San Francisco and Seattle top Tampa's domestic wish list.
Asked if Seattle’s hometown Alaska Airlines does not already serve Tampa, Meyer jokes: “You’d think, right?”
Alaska has added nonstops to a number of medium-size cities in the central and eastern USA to its network from Seattle in recent years. These include Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and San Antonio.