Direct European flights will soon resume at Tampa International Airport, thanks to a new airline bringing its maiden U.S. voyage to Tampa.
Eurowings Discover, a new offshoot of the Lufthansa Group, will begin service between Tampa and Frankfurt, Germany, in December, the airport announced this week.
When it launches, it’ll be the first nonstop service between mainland Europe and Tampa International Airport since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. government announced last week that it was lifting restrictions on vaccinated travelers from much of the European Union and other countries starting in November.
“This is a critical connection for both European travelers coming to Florida and Floridians looking to travel the world,” airport CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement. “Frankfurt is one of Europe’s largest hubs and truly opens up the rest of the world. And, Florida, as we know, is the vacation destination of choice for so many across the pond.”
Over the past year-plus, Tampa’s International flights have resumed slowly and sporadically, with destinations in the Caribbean and Central America initially picking up flight by flight. Limited Canadian service briefly resumed in late 2020 before halting until this summer. Two more European carriers have listed tentative resumption-of-service dates for Tampa — British Airways with flights to London on Nov. 1, and Edelweiss with flights to Zurich next March — but those start dates have changed and been pushed back throughout the pandemic.
In the days since the announcement about travel restrictions, Lufthansa and British Airways have said bookings to the United States have soared, with Miami among the top destinations for both carriers.
Lufthansa, which had previously flown into and out of Tampa under its own banner, describes Eurowings Discover as a “vacation airline,” targeting linking Frankfurt with destination markets around the world. Tampa is Eurowings Discover’s first and only North American destination, though the carrier plans to add routes between Frankfurt and Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Anchorage, Calgary and Halifax in 2022.
Direct flights to and from Tampa will take place four times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. Travelers can book at Lufthansa.com.
“We are excited that Lufthansa Group and Eurowings Discover has chosen TPA as its first U.S. route,” Alex Heiter, the airport’s director of air service development, said in a statement. “This decision reaffirms the Tampa Bay area’s attractiveness for international visitors and provides a fresh brand geared towards the needs of many of those customers.”