17:52 PM

Tampa International Airport surpasses 20 million passenger mark in record fiscal year

Passenger traffic grew by 9.3 percent, exceeding early growth rate projections.

Tampa International Airport closed Fiscal Year 2018 after logging 21,013,788 passengers – an all-time record for TPA and the Airport’s first time surpassing the 20 million mark. The number represents a 9.3 percent increase over the previous year, exceeding growth rate projections. TPA’s fiscal year runs from October 1 through the end of September. 

The milestone comes on the heels of United Airlines’ recent announcement that the carrier is increasing its Tampa-San Francisco service in June 2019 from once to twice daily, better serving the needs and schedules of the Tampa Bay area’s many business travelers who use the route. Lufthansa will also be increasing its service from five to six days weekly next summer, and at the end of the month TPA will launch Norwegian Airlines service to London, TPA’s first time having two airlines flying to the same European city.

Other factors adding to the growth include:

  • An 83 percent increase in Frontier Airlines passengers after adding 13 new routes in the past year
  • Spirit Airlines added eight new nonstop routes, generating a 45.5 percent increase in Spirit passenger traffic
  • Icelandair’s Reykjavik service, which launched just before the start of Fiscal Year 2018 and recently increased from two weekly flights to four
  • TPA’s busiest spring break on record, in which the Airport’s largest carrier, Southwest Airlines,  added more than a dozen additional departing flights each day during the six week period

The boom in passenger numbers is also happening as TPA is in the middle of a three-phase Master Plan expansion. Earlier this year, TPA opened a new rental car center with a 1.4 mile SkyConnect people mover system and an expanded main terminal with outdoor terraces. The Airport is now in the planning and design phase of expanding its curbsides and building a new commercial office and hotel complex to the south of the Airport. Plans for future development that include an Airside D are underway as part of a third phase.

More passenger growth is expected for Fiscal Year 2019, during which Delta Airlines will launch nonstop service to Amsterdam along with other increased frequencies and new routes on existing domestic and international carriers.