13:58 PM

First Canadian flights resume at Tampa International Airport

Ready your wings, snowbirds: Toronto's direct service to Tampa Bay is back!

After more than six months of suspended service to Tampa International Airport's largest international destination, nonstop flights to Canada will return on July 17 with the resumption of service to Toronto aboard Air Canada.

Air Canada last offered limited seasonal flights from Toronto between October 2020 and January 21, 2021, but service was suspended again due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions and limitations. All other Canadian flights were suspended in April 2020 and have yet to resume.

Canada is the number one international visitor market into Tampa Bay with 436,773 passengers flying between Canada and Tampa in 2019. Due to the pandemic, that number dropped 66 percent in 2020 representing 147,798 passengers.

Canadian visitors spent more than $265 million in Tampa Bay in 2019 alone, according to Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, making this market a huge driver for economic development the Tampa Bay region.

"We have a vast market of Canadian tourism here in Tampa Bay, so we're really excited to start welcoming our Canadian friends back to our region," said Chris Minner, TPA's Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "Air Canada has been a vital partner for years and we look forward to resuming these flights and supporting their continued growth."

Florida has an estimated 500,000 Canadian snowbirds, according to a 2018 Canada-Florida Economic Impact Study by Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service.

We are very excited to resume service between Toronto and Tampa as the Sunshine State is one of the top destinations for Canadians, especially our snowbirds," said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. "As the biggest foreign carrier into the U.S., we are committed to maintain the strong tourism and trade relationship Canada and Florida have built over the years and we are delighted to be back to support the recovery of both economies."

Pre-pandemic, TPA had service to Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal, Ottawa, St. John's and Winnipeg across three airlines (Air Canada, Swoop and WestJet.)

Nonstop service to Toronto will be year-round and, initially, Air Canada flights are on weekends only.

Canada has begun to ease border restrictions and details can be found here.