72 percent

That’s Tampa International Airport’s growth in passengers flying non-stop to and from Europe in July, compared with the same month last year. This is an increase from 30,000 European passengers in July 2018 to more than 50,000 this year. That outpaces growth in international travelers more generally (up nearly 25 percent year-over-year to about 110,000) and all passengers for the month (up nearly 5 percent to 1.9 million). There’s a few things at work here: New service to Amsterdam on Delta and London-Gatwick on Norwegian Airlines, plus double-digit growth for British Airways and Lufthansa. The airport also has focused on marketing its flights in European markets that do not have direct flights to other Florida destinations, attracting some first-time visitors to Tampa. “There was once a perception that we could not grow international here in this airport,” Tampa International CEO Joe Lopano said. Not true, he said. “There’s pent-up demand in this market.”

“Non-stop flights to Europe from TIA have taken off” – Tampa Bay Times (subscription required)