(August 22, 2018) As reporters, employees and curious passengers gathered in the Main Terminal SkyConnect atrium on Aug. 22, the buzz was fueled by the sight of fresh tulips, stroopwafels and bicycles near the stage where a big announcement was to be made.
Finally, Executive Vice President of Marketing Chris Minner confirmed the big news: Delta Air Lines will launch year-round nonstop flights to Amsterdam from Tampa International Airport beginning May 23, adding a fifth European destination to TPA’s route map and providing an easy gateway to Delta’s vast network of worldwide connections.
Amsterdam was one of the three European cities TPA targeted for international air service development in late 2016.
“This was one of our top priorities and we worked closely with our partners to make it happen. It’s is a prime example of what we can achieve when we work together,” Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano said. “We’re excited to embark on this new international partnership with Delta, which will benefit not only Tampa Bay travelers but our entire region as we bring more European visitors to our area.”
The Amsterdam service is expected to have an economic impact on the region of $110 million and create more than 1,000 jobs.
At a press conference held at TPA, several community partners praised Delta for bringing the service to the Tampa Bay area.
“Thanks, Delta, for all that you have done for this community,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. “And thank you for believing in what the next chapter will look like for Tampa. We have much work ahead of us and we will not rest. Ever.”
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater President & CEO David Downing stressed the importance of creating a nonstop connection to such a key European destination.
“To get directly there is a huge win for us,” Downing said. “Strategically, it fits perfectly with what we do to bring people to the number one beach in America right now, Clearwater Beach. We have offices in Germany, we have offices in the United Kingdom, and we’ve already been working with them to figure out how we can maximize the $110 million this flight is going to bring to this region.”
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is among Europe’s busiest airports and one of Delta’s largest European hubs, connecting passengers to destinations across Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa and Asia via Delta’s partner airlines Air France, KLM, Alitalia and Jet Airways.
Delta will use a 211-seat Boeing 767-300 for the flights, which will operate daily during peak travel periods and four to five times weekly during non-peak periods.
“Delta is putting great focus on our international expansion and Europe is an important part of this,” said Roberto Ioriatti, Delta’s Vice President Transatlantic. “Our new Tampa Bay flight offers our customers more choice and convenient connections throughout the United States and Europe in connection with our partners.”
In the past two years, TPA has added 44 new nonstop domestic and international routes. Since Lopano arrived at TPA in 2011, the Airport has seen a 126 percent increase in international passengers with the addition of nonstop service to Zurich, Panama City, Frankfurt, Reykjavik and other destinations. The international visitors have contributed to the Airport’s passenger growth, which is expected to surpass a record 21 million passengers in 2018.
When the Amsterdam flights launch next spring, TPA will offer passengers access to European travel on all three major airline alliances, with Delta’s SkyTeam added to Lufthansa’s Star Alliance and British Airways’ Oneworld. The alliances benefit those with frequent flyer status or mileage rewards, as well as providing an easier process to reach more international destinations.
To book a flight between Tampa and Amsterdam, visit www.delta.com.