Another low-cost air carrier is setting up shop at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. And this one will take you north of the border.
Canadian airline Swoop will begin service to and from Pinellas County in November, the carrier announced Wednesday. The airport will have three weekly Swoop flights to Toronto Pearson Airport starting Nov. 5. Swoop will offer two flights per week to John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport in Ontario starting Nov. 9.
Swoop also announced three new routes from Orlando Sanford International Airport: Toronto starting Oct. 9, Hamilton starting Nov. 1 and Edmonton starting Nov. 5.
“Travelling between airports like Hamilton International, Orlando Sanford and St. Pete-Clearwater has become increasingly appealing to passengers looking for a comfortable travel experience that a smaller airport can offer,” Cathie Puckering, president and CEO of Hamilton International Airport.
The U.S.-Canadian border still has a ban on non-essential travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, although Reuters reported this week the nations are discussing how and when to lift those restrictions.
Founded in 2018, Swoop has a fleet of nine Boeing 737-800 NG planes crisscrossing Canada, the United States, Mexico and Jamaica.
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport currently has only one seasonal route to Canada, a Sunwing Airlines flight to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Swoop flights from St. Pete-Clearwater to Toronto and Hamilton are listed for as low as $117 on FlySwoop.com.
“Being one of only a few of Swoop’s U.S. destinations, we are confident that sunny St. Pete-Clearwater area will be a popular one,” St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport director Tom Jewsbury said in a statement.
It’s the second low-cost carrier to arrive in Tampa Bay in the past month. Breeze Airways launched service from Tampa International Airport in May.
About 160,000 passengers passed through St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport in May, up 22 percent from May 2020, but still down 20 percent from May 2019.