Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

Southwest, AirTran to reduce service at Tampa International

TAMPA — Southwest Airlines plans to cut 12 weekday flights from Tampa International Airport starting Aug. 12, part of a nationwide realignment involving its merger with AirTran and a focus on long-haul flights.

The decision, which also involved cutting two AirTran flights, means TIA will have no nonstop flights to Jacksonville, unless another airline fills the gap. Southwest's one flight from Tampa to Milwaukee also will be cut, and service to several other cities will be reduced. The airline will add one daily flight to the six it already has to Fort Lauderdale.

The decision comes after Southwest announced last week that it will pull AirTran Airways out of Sarasota. AirTran also is pulling entirely out of Rochester, N.Y., which had one daily flight to Tampa. Flights between Tampa and San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be cut from two to one a day.

Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said Friday that the decision to cut flights at TIA was strictly economic.

"The vast majority of customers fly Southwest on a long-haul basis," Hawkins said. Jacksonville is considered a short-haul flight.

"As we've been able to offer more long-haul options in Tampa that has certainly shifted the market across the country," he added.

The airline also is dealing with a 33 percent increase in fuel costs, forcing it to focus on its most profitable routes.

Despite the cuts, Southwest will continue flying dozens of flights a day from Tampa and remains TIA's largest carrier. It's bad timing for TIA, which has made adding nonstop flights to Europe, Latin America and the West Coast a top priority.

"We understand Southwest Airlines has to respond to market conditions,'' airport CEO Joe Lopano said in a prepared statement. "We still believe there are great growth opportunities at this airport. Southwest continues to be the largest airline at TIA, and their presence in our region is critical to our economy.''

Other cities that will see reduced service from Tampa are Buffalo, N.Y.; Baltimore; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia and Manchester, N.H.

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18