22:39 PM

After downturn, TPA sees sustained passenger growth

After weathering one of the steepest drops in the industry’s history, Tampa International Airport is starting to see passenger numbers steadily climb back up.

Now, with two months of sustained growth, there’s reason for optimism that TPA is headed in the right direction – and that travel in and out of Tampa Bay may rebound faster than in other parts of the country.

“The energy at the Airport today is so different from just a few weeks ago,” said Chris Minner, TPA’s Executive Vice President of Marketing. “We’re seeing things pick back up with every passing week. Looking at upcoming flight schedules and future booking information, it’s clear there’s growing demand for summer travel.”

Tampa International Airport’s passenger numbers jumped from roughly 86,000 in April to 230,000 passengers in May – an increase of about 167 percent.

The numbers for June are even stronger: Mid-way through the month, the Airport had already served 200,000 passengers, including more than 20,000 in a day for the first time in months.

This growth is also outpacing the national average.

From the week of April 12 through the week of June 7, the total number of passengers traveling in the United States increased by about 356 percent. In that same period, TPA passenger numbers grew by about 476 percent.

“We know our region is resilient and that, for many people, Tampa Bay remains a dream destination,” said Minner.

Minner pointed to two separate national studies, including one from the Brookings Institution and another from Chmura Economics & Analytics, which position Tampa Bay as the tenth most resilient region among the country’s largest metro areas.

The Brookings Institution’s analysis also found the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area to be well-positioned as the most resilient large market in Florida.

As passenger numbers are clicking up, so too are the number of flights in and out of TPA. In May, carriers operated about 3,700 flights out of TPA. In July, that number is expected to increase to more than 7,900.

An increase in travel and tourism can be seen throughout the region.

Top beach hotels were full over the recent Memorial Day weekend and hotel occupancy and revenue are expected to reach 80 percent by fall 2020 as many travelers indicate a strong desire to travel to outdoor destinations, including our beautiful beaches.

Our partners at Visit Tampa Bay report that their convention and conference calendar shows strong bookings through spring 2021.

While passenger numbers are pointed in the right direction, COVID-19 remains a threat.

Tampa International Airport continues to maintain its “TPA Ready” program with enhanced cleaning of all facilities, new social distancing signage and protocols and mandatory face masks for all employees and tenants.

The Airport is also strongly encouraging passengers and guests to wear face masks and to follow guidelines designed to minimize exposure.

“People still need to fly, and our goal is to help travelers feel as safe and comfortable as possible,” said Minner.