New airline, Eurowings, connects TPA to mainland Europe

Tampa Bay’s connection to mainland Europe is back with the launch of new nonstop service to Frankfurt, Germany aboard Eurowings Discover, the Lufthansa Group’s new leisure airline, according to a release on TPA’s website.

This follows recent news that COPA Airlines would once again launch flights to Panama from the airport.

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Eurowings’ first flight to the US

The four-times-per-week service, set to begin Dec. 16, is Eurowings’ first flight to the United States and is a clear signal of the strength of the Tampa Bay market.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Eurowings to Tampa Bay and to restore service to Europe and beyond,” said TPA CEO Joe Lopano. “This is a critical connection for both European travelers coming to Florida and Floridians looking to travel the world. Frankfurt is one of Europe’s largest hubs and truly opens up the rest of the world. And, Florida, as we know, is the vacation destination of choice for so many across the pond.”

Eurowings Discover’s launch announcement comes shortly after receiving notice that travel restrictions to the U.S. had been lifted. The airline decided to launch its first U.S. flight ahead of other U.S. destinations, which will follow in 2022. Lufthansa Group reports that its passenger airlines have seen a boom in demand for U.S. travel since the removal of restrictions for vaccinated Europeans.

Flights designed for leisure and business

Eurowings Discover, which started operating this summer, will offer flights to Tampa on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays year-round. The flights will be approximately 9 hours and 10 minutes from Tampa to Frankfurt and 10 hours and 55 minutes from Frankfurt to Tampa.

While the airline will gear itself towards the leisure market, it will also be well-suited for business travelers. The Airbus A330 aircraft used for this flight will have more lie-flat business class seating than the previous Lufthansa A340 operation, which previously served TPA prior to COVID-19.

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“We are excited that Lufthansa Group and Eurowings Discover has chosen TPA as its first U.S. route,” said Alex Heiter, TPA’s Director of Air Service Development. “This decision reaffirms the Tampa Bay area’s attractiveness for international visitors and provides a fresh brand geared towards the needs of many of those customers. In addition, Eurowings Discover will continue to provide a strong business class and premium economy offering, with seamless connectivity into the existing Lufthansa network at the Frankfurt hub.”

Five new routes on Frontier Airlines

This flight will be marketed on the Lufthansa website as a “Codeshare” flight, meaning passengers will continue to enjoy Lufthansa loyalty plan benefits and efficient transfers onto connecting Lufthansa services at Frankfurt.

Learn more on Eurowings website.

TPA also announced some major domestic travel news.

Low-fare carrier Frontier Airlines announced five new nonstop routes from Tampa International Airport to Bloomington, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Green Bay, Wisconsin; New York-LaGuardia and Rochester, New York. With the addition of this new service, Frontier now offers 26 nonstop Tampa routes to a wide range of popular destinations.

To celebrate the new service, Frontier is offering introductory fares starting at $39.

The airport also just opened new express lanes that make traveling without checked bags a breeze.

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Tampa’s favorite airport announced a first-of-its-kind program to expedite arrivals and departures for travelers without checked bags. TPA now has two separate drop-off and pickup areas for passengers with and without checked bags.

Blue express curbsides launch at TPA

Dubbed the “Blue Express Curbsides,” phase one of this new project will serve airlines operating from the Blue Side of the airport, including American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Copa Airlines, Cayman Airways and Swift Air. Express lanes for the Red Side are expected to open in 2025.

More travel news for Tampa International Airport: Avelo Airlines is adding new direct routes from TPA to New Haven, CT this November. Yes, that means you can get cheap flights to some of the best pizza in America. You can find this writer enjoying a pie from Sally’s (my old hometown favorite). 

“We are looking forward to bringing more choice, affordability and the Avelo Soul of Service to Tampa,” said Levy, who serves as Avelo’s Chairman and CEO. “With nonstop flights to one of the area’s most hassle-free airports, travelers from Tampa will now have a smoother way to visit Southern Connecticut and experience all the region has to offer.”

TPA now serves 80 destinations across the globe, and the addition of New Haven is fantastic for recent transplants from the area.

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