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Tampa International Airport tops 20 million passengers in a year; St. Pete-Clearwater has biggest September ever

Tampa International Airport has surpassed the 20 million-passenger mark for the first time ever, closing out its budget year with more than 21 million passengers over a 12-month period.

The airport exceeded its own expectations on Sept. 30 when it ended its 2017-18 fiscal year with the 9.3 percent increase.

The announcement followed last week's news that United Airlines is doubling its Tampa-to-San Francisco service starting next June. Lufthansa also plans to increase its service from five to six days a week next summer, and on Halloween Norwegian Airlines will launch its nonstop service to London's Gatwick Airport, marking the first time two airlines will fly to the same European city from TIA.

Airport officials said their numbers also got a boost from:

• An 83 percent increase in passengers on Frontier Airlines, which added 13 new routes over the past year.

• An 45.5 percent increase in passengers on Spirit Airlines, which added eight new nonstop routes.

Icelandair's Reykjavik service, which launched in the fall of 2017 and has recently gone from two flights a week to four.

• TIA's busiest spring break on record, in which the airport's largest carrier, Southwest Airlines, added more than a dozen additional departing flights each day over a six-week period.

During the coming year, Delta Airlines is scheduled to launch nonstop service to Amsterdam.


Across Tampa Bay, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is on a record pace, too.

With 121,192 passengers, last month was the biggest September in the history of St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. September's passenger count was 21 percent over the same month last year.

Year-to-date, the Pinellas County airport's traffic is 13 percent more than the same months in 2017, which itself was a record year with more than 2 million passengers, and is giving the airport its sixth straight year of double-digit passenger growth. The airport is getting ready to add two new destinations: Albany, N.Y., served by Allegiant, and Winnipeg, served by Flair Airlines.

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Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times