TAMPA — Frontier Airlines announced Tuesday it will expand its operations at Florida airports, including adding 11 new flights from Tampa International Airport to new destinations like Indianapolis, Kansas City, Providence, Columbus, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Colorado Springs, Buffalo, Long Island, St. Louis, Nashville, and Milwaukee.
The new flights on Frontier will be a mix of weekly and daily service, and all new routes will begin before the end of the year.
Frontier, known as a low cost air carrier, offers flights out of Tampa already to U.S. destinations including Denver, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Trenton, Chicago, Philadelphia and Cincinnati. Frontier will offer 18 flights from Tampa by the end of the year. All of the new routes, except for Colorado Springs, are already available at the Tampa airport through other carriers like Southwest.
That's good news for Tampa travelers. More flights serving the same destinations will likely keep fares competitive among the competing airlines. And clearly, Frontier thinks there's enough demand for additional routes from Tampa.
"There's a lot of growth happening here at the airport, which is a reflection of the economy and the growth in the region," said Joe Lopano, CEO of the Tampa airport.
Frontier announced new routes out of the Miami International Airport and Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers as well as part of Tuesday's nationwide announcement. But the carrier is adding more flights in Tampa than anywhere else, putting 90 percent of the country within an hour of a Frontier flight, according to Howard Diamond, general counsel at Frontier, who was in Tampa for the announcement.
The new flights are the latest in a recent string of new route announcements by the Tampa airport. Just last month, airport officials announced new service on Southwest Air to San Diego. In March, the airport landed a nonstop flight to Salt Lake City on Delta. Other new flights include nonstop service to San Francisco on United Airlines which began in February.
Portland, Ore., is the next city on the wish list of top domestic destinations that airport officials released late last year. International destinations like Dublin, Amsterdam and Manchester, England, are also on that list.
Lopano has a strong track record of bringing new flights to the airport. In 2011, the first nonstop flights between Tampa and Cuba in a half-century started with a charter service. Tampa's first nonstop flight to continental Europe in 15 years came with new service to Zurich, Switzerland, on Edelweiss Air. Copa Airline's service to Panama City, which began 2013, was Tampa Bay's first nonstop flight to a major Latin America hub. Nonstop service to Seattle on Alaska Airlines, which started in 2014, was one of the first routes to connect Tampa Bay to the West Coast. A flight to Frankfurt on Lufthansa in 2015 connected Tampa Bay to one of the largest international airports in the world. Southwest also offers service to Havana, Cuba, from Tampa.
Colorado-based Frontier is adding a total of 21 new cities and 85 new routes nationwide through its expansion, doubling the airliner's current number of routes.
On Monday, Tampa airport officials welcomed the arrival of 12 new SkyConnect tram cars, which will connect the economy parking garage and new rental car facility to the main terminal next year, as part of the $1 billion phase one of the airport's master plan renovation.
"It's been a big week for us and it's only Tuesday," Lopano said.
Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.