Saturday, October 20, 2018
Business

Tropic Ocean Air to begin commercial service at Albert Whitted Airport in February

Tropic Ocean Airways wants to make getting around Florida easier for the Tampa Bay business traveler.

The Fort Lauderdale private jet company is bringing commercial air service back to Albert Whitted Airport staring in February with nonstop flights to and from St. Petersburg and Fort Lauderdale International Airport. It's the first of what Tropic Ocean Air CEO Rob Ceravolo predicts will be many flights coming to Albert Whitted, which for decades has only been a private general aviation airport.

Tropic Ocean will offer two flights a day — in the mornings and evenings — on Mondays and Fridays starting Feb. 1. The flights are intended to be a daily travel option for local business travelers who need to get to South Florida and return home the same day. The service could draw new daily or weekly international tourists from the South Florida market to Tampa Bay, as well, said Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

Flights will start at $299 each way, though the Tropic Ocean website this week offered prices at $249 each way starting in April.

Depending on the success of the initial service to Fort Lauderdale, Ceravolo hopes to add direct service from St. Petersburg to Tallahassee, Jacksonville and the Keys next.

Tropic Ocean Airways has a fleet of seaplanes and private jets that land in tropical destinations usually only accessible by boat or helicopter. The company offers private charter services to Florida coastal destinations, the Keys and the Bahamas.

Starting in St. Petersburg, Tropic Air is offering scheduled service for purchase by the seat. Two pilots will fly a nine-seat Cessna 208B EX Wheeled to and from Albert Whitted.

There is some appeal for business travelers who are willing to pay more to avoid a regional airport like Tampa International or St. Pete-Clearwater International. The company says passengers don't have to wait in long security and customs lines when they fly on its chartered planes. Ceravolo, a former Navy Top Gun fighter pilot, founded the company in 2009. In addition to private charter flights, Tropic Ocean offers cargo and freight services and yacht charter services.

Contact Justine Griffin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8467. Follow @SunBizGriffin.

Comments
Hurricane Michael’s effect on timber industry ‘catastrophic,

Hurricane Michael’s effect on timber industry ‘catastrophic," Adam Putnam says.

Hurricane Michael’s enduring legacy could include long-term damage to Florida’s timber industry. While experts try to get a handle on the carnage, state Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam said Friday that preliminary estimates peg it ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Florida’s unemployment rate falls to 3.5 percent while Tampa Bay’s rate plunges to 2.9 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate falls to 3.5 percent while Tampa Bay’s rate plunges to 2.9 percent

Florida’s economy is continuing to hum along, according to September employment numbers released Friday. The state’s unemployment rate dropped to a mark last seen in February 2007 — 3.5 percent, down from 3.7 percent in August.And compared to a year ...
Published: 10/19/18
Jeff Vinik invests in another tech startup focused on health and wellness

Jeff Vinik invests in another tech startup focused on health and wellness

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has made a series of investments in companies focused on health, wellness and technology in industries ranging from construction to medicine, and from fitness to radiation protection.He’s at it again. This...
Published: 10/19/18
Is the annual pass worth it? As Disney changes pricing system, we help you decide

Is the annual pass worth it? As Disney changes pricing system, we help you decide

Though costly, annual passes at Disney World, Universal, Busch Gardens and other parks can sometimes be a smarter choice. You just have to know what you’re getting.
Published: 10/19/18
Tampa’s Oxford Exchange one of nation’s 50 most beautiful independent stores

Tampa’s Oxford Exchange one of nation’s 50 most beautiful independent stores

TAMPA — Architectural Digest has named Tampa’s Oxford Exchange as Florida’s most beautiful independent store — and one of the 50 most beautiful in the nation. Opened in 2012 in a onetime stable, the exchange a at 420 W. Kennedy Blvd. includes a resta...
Published: 10/19/18
After Hurricane Michael, a hunt for surviving oysters in Apalachicola

After Hurricane Michael, a hunt for surviving oysters in Apalachicola

APALACHICOLA — T.J. Ward’s phone rang. Service had improved in the days since Hurricane Michael. "Get another scrub brush and a squeegee,"he told his sister. "The littlest one you can find." The Ward family’s 13 Mile Seafood Marke...
Published: 10/19/18
A new Earth Fare is coming to Lutz this winter

A new Earth Fare is coming to Lutz this winter

Times Staff Writer LUTZ — Earth Fare will open its third location in Tampa Bay this winter, continuing to expand the area’s growing organic grocery market.Earth Fare entered Tampa Bay in 2016 with a location in Seminole and then opened a second in Ol...
Published: 10/19/18
Is Tampa Bay finally seeing signs of a buyer’s market? Soaring September sales hint at it

Is Tampa Bay finally seeing signs of a buyer’s market? Soaring September sales hint at it

Bucking a national trend, sales of single-family homes soared by double digits in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hernando counties in September.That dramatic increase, coupled with minor price increases, suggests that a real estate market that has favore...
Published: 10/19/18
Aldi unrolls grocery delivery through Instacart across Florida

Aldi unrolls grocery delivery through Instacart across Florida

Savvy Tampa Bay shoppers may have already noticed Aldi pop up in their Instacart app earlier this month, but the discount store officially announced its delivery expansion across Florida this week.Instacart is a delivery service that allows shoppers ...
Published: 10/19/18
Tuna-gate: StarKist admits fixing prices, faces $100 million fine

Tuna-gate: StarKist admits fixing prices, faces $100 million fine

StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony price fixing charge as part of a broad collusion investigation of the canned tuna industry, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Published: 10/19/18