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Tampa to further expand its airport offerings in 2015

On this blog, we've reported plans to revamp the Tampa International Airport in 2015 with an ambitious redesign and expansion. As it turns out, the remodel couldn't come at a more critical time, with more and more direct flights coming to Tampa with each passing month. 

Tampa is rare in its possession of two major airports: Tampa International Airport (TPA), our primary travel hub, and St. Petersburg–Clearwater International Airport (PIE), which services discount carriers like Allegiant Air and Silver Airways. Starting this year, PIE will boast routes to Pittsburgh, Richmond, Va., Indianapolis, and Tulsa, Okla. The airport observed its second-busiest year on record in 2014, and anticipates breaking its all-time record for passenger travel in 2015. 

At TPA, capabilities for South American and European travel have grown significantly, with new flights on airlines like Edelweiss, Copa Airlines and Lufthansa. Attracting airlines to the Tampa Bay area has been an integral part of commercial development strategy in recent years, according to The Tampa Tribune. Persuading airlines that Tampa is as viable a destination as Miami or Orlando has been a successful undertaking, and traffic at TPA has grown by 53 percent since 2010. Capacity on flights has been so impressive that the task of adding more has been both necessary and lucrative. 

"It raises the profile of the destination within the entire region because we have a talking point: You can get here directly now. And that does create interest from other airlines," said Visit St. Pete Clearwater Director David Downing.

For commercial prospects in the area, more direct flights means easier travel to important meetings and, in the future, corporate headquarters. By doubling down on flight capabilities, the region positions itself to court major companies to search for office space in Tampa

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