Tampa International Airport: Icelandair to launch flights to Reykjavík & beyond
The route establishes a nonstop connection to Iceland, an increasingly popular tourism destination, and creates easy access to more than 25 destinations in Europe. It’s TPA’s third new European flight since 2011.
“This is an exciting and significant moment for Icelandair and we look forward to bringing two wonderful destinations together,” said Icelandair CEO Birkir Holm Gudnason. “Tampa Bay will further strengthen Icelandair’s presence in the southeast and better serve our passengers with faster travel times to Europe for western Florida, including Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.”
Airport CEO Joe Lopano said the Icelandair service further bolsters the area’s reputation as a global gateway.
“We are thrilled to welcome Icelandair to the region,” said Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport. “Travelers throughout Tampa Bay will now have nonstop access to one of the world’s most exciting and stunningly beautiful destinations, as well as a convenient connection to other points in Europe and beyond.”
“Icelandair is coming aboard during a time of immense growth and exciting developments at TPA,” said HCAA Chairman Robert Watkins. “In the past six years, we’ve strengthened the airport’s world-wide reputation by adding nonstop flights to top destinations all over the globe and expanding our facilities to support new passengers. I’m very proud to chair the Aviation Authority board and be a part of this important time in airport – and Tampa – history.”
The twice-weekly service will be good for the regional economy, with an expected economic impact of nearly $19 million annually. All 183 seats of Icelandair’s scheduled Thursday departure have been sold. Many of the passengers will continue on to Europe, including such destinations as Frankfurt, Helsinki, Stockholm, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Aberdeen, Oslo, Hamburg, Manchester and Munich.
Icelandair, in operation since 1937, has a long, illustrious history of bridging North America and mainland Europe through Iceland. The airline has helped boost tourism to its home country in record numbers and in bolstering Iceland as one of Europe’s hottest destinations. Today, Icelandair continues to grow by adding new aircraft to its modern fleet, more destinations and popular amenities including personal in-flight entertainment and gate-to-gate Wi-Fi access. With today’s announcement of Tampa Bay, Icelandair will now offer service from 18 North American gateways.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who also sits on the HCAA Board, said the new service continues a string of successes for the Airport and the region.
“This new flight is the latest example of Tampa’s growing prominence as an international getaway. I want to thank the folks at Icelandair for believing in this Airport, but most importantly for believing in Tampa and believing in us,” Buckhorn said.
Chris Minner, TPA’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, said the new service is the culmination of a multi-year long process and the result of a tremendous amount of hard work by the Airport and its partners.
Several partners traveled to Iceland for a trade mission and were on the first flight from Reykjavik to Tampa on Wednesday night. They included Santiago Corrada, President and CEO at Visit Tampa Bay; Tim Ramsberger, COO of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater; Bob Rohrlack, President and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce; Craig Richard, President and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, JP DuBuque, President of the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation; Janet Long, Chair of the EDC.
Icelandair departs from TPA on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:55 p.m., arriving at Keflavik International Airport the following morning at 6:10 a.m. The flight will just over 7 hours, and will arrive in time for more than 25 destinations to Europe, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London and Paris. Return service departs Keflavik at 5:10 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays, arriving at 9 p.m.