Tampa International Airport is getting an all-new cross-country flight to a long-sought-after West Coast destination: Portland, Ore.
Alaska Airlines announced Thursday it would launch nonstop service from Tampa to Portland International Airport starting Dec. 16. The new route connects Tampa to one of the largest markets without a direct route.
“This huge win for Tampa International Airport now gives us an important connection to the West Coast and one that we’ve been pursuing for years,” Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement. “Tampa Bay residents have been clamoring for this service, and we’re beyond thrilled Alaska Airlines is growing its presence here with this exciting new route.”
This will be the fourth West Coast city with direct service to and from Tampa on Alaska Airlines. The carrier currently has direct flights to Seattle, and last year announced it was adding new routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Portland route will start at four days a week through April 18.
The Alaska Airlines flight wasn’t the airport’s only announcement about West Coast travel on Thursday. The airport also announced that American Airlines would offer daily nonstop service to Los Angeles starting Oct. 7, as well as twice-daily flights to Nashville and the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina in November.
The additions will make American Tampa International Airport’s second-largest carrier behind Southwest Airlines.
“Any time an airline adds more service at TPA it’s a win for our region, but American’s addition of five new daily point-to-point flights — including a transcontinental nonstop to LAX — is a terrific demonstration of its confidence in our vibrant market,” Lopano’s statement read.
The new flight announcements follow the news that a new low-cost carrier, Breeze Airways, would be making Tampa International Airport one of its central hubs. The airline’s maiden flight, from Tampa to Charleston, S.C., took off May 27.
Tampa International Airport saw just more than 1.5 million passengers in April. That’s far above where it was in April 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic caused the airline industry to buckle, but it remains short of passenger traffic in both February 2020 (1.94 million) and April 2019 (2 million).