Soon: Fly directly from Tampa to San Francisco

- Soon, passengers will be able to fly directly to San Francisco from Tampa.

United Airlines announced Monday that it will begin nonstop daily service from Tampa to San Francisco starting on Feb. 16, 2017.

The flights will depart Tampa at 5:50 p.m. and arrive at 8:45 p.m. in San Francisco. The return flight will leave San Francisco at 8:30 a.m. and arrive in Tampa at 4:51 p.m.

"We are now connected to one of the greatest cities in America, a gateway to Asia, a great tourism destination and the home of some of the best restaurants and wineries in the world," said Aviation Authority Chairman Robert Watkins. "I couldn't be more excited and proud."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn called the flights a huge win for the city of Tampa.

There are already more than 1,300 people in a public group on Facebook called #TPA2SF, a group created to rally for and support the move.

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