(October 6, 2016) Tampa International Airport and Icelandair this week announced upcoming year-round service to Reykjavík, Iceland, adding to the Airport's great run of adding new international flights at TPA.
Flights will begin Sept. 7, 2017, with Icelandair offering two weekly flights to Iceland and connections to more than 25 destinations in Europe.
“Wow, here we are again,” said Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, said at the press announcement Wednesday afternoon. “We are thrilled to welcome Icelandair to the region. 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, 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.
“This is a big moment in the history of Icelandair,” said Gudjon Arngrimsson, Icelandair’s Vice President of corporate communications during the announcement ceremony. “We are honored. We have built up quite a network and this is part of our plans to extend our service. We mean business coming into Tampa Bay. This is, on our behalf, serious business.”
Following the announcement, Arngrimsson and Lopano exchanged gifts – for Lopano, a model of the Icelandair plane coming to TPA; for Arngrimsson, a box of Tampa’s finest cigars.
IceLandair’s CEO Birkir Hólm Guðnason, in a statement, said the new service to 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.
“Floridians will now have a refreshing alternative when traveling to Iceland and beyond, while Icelanders and Europeans will have direct access to the sunny beaches and many attractions of the Tampa Bay area,” he said.
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.
“We can compete with anybody in the world and we get up every day to prove that,” he said. “I want to thank the folks at Icelandair for believing in this Airport, but most importantly believing in Tampa and believing in us.”
Chris Minner, TPA’s Vice President of Marketing, said the announcement was the culmination of a multi-year long process and the result of tremendous amount of hard work on the part of the Airport and its partners.
Helping celebrate the win were some of the key players in making that happen, including David Downing, the Executive Director at Visit St. Pete/Clearwater; Santiago Corrada, President and CEO at Visit Tampa Bay; Alfredo Gonzalez, Vice President of International Sales and Market Development at Visit Florida; Bob Rohrlack, President and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce; Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce; Craig Richard, President and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation.