TAMPA — Starting Aug. 7, Southwest Airlines will begin daily nonstop service between Tampa International Airport and Los Angeles.
A Southwest Boeing 737-700 will fly the route once a day, Tampa International Airport officials said Thursday. That will make Southwest the third airline at TIA to offer service to Los Angeles, which is Tampa International's 13th largest market. Delta Air Lines already flies there, carrying more than 870 passengers a day. Spirit Airlines plans to launch service there in April and is expected to cater to budget-conscious leisure travelers.
Southwest is TIA's most popular airline, carrying 34 percent of the airport's passengers. Last month it began service to San Diego with an expectation of selling a lot of ticket to business travelers in the defense, aerospace and medical industries.
More generally, the airport set a goal two years ago to expand its West Coast offerings. It has since secured new flights to San Diego and Salt Lake City, two of its target markets, and is working on Portland, Ore.
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