Bay Area benefits from European travel

The European Union announced Wednesday that fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and a number of other nations can return.

This comes as Tampa International Airport’s three flights to Europe are tentatively back on the schedule after being put on pause for more than a year because of the pandemic.

British Airways’ flight to London-Gatwick is supposed to begin in mid-June, followed by Edelweiss’s flight to Zurich in July, and Lufthansa’s flight to Frankfurt in September.

"We get very excited about the thought of going to Zurich, or going to Frankfurt, going to London, but really what those airlines bring to us is the economic impact of tourists coming here," said Emily Nipps, a spokesperson for TPA.  "European tourists tend to spend a lot more money than domestic tourists and that’s why we work very hard to secure these European flights and really any international flight is going to bring in more dollars to our region."

Those three flights were supposed to return at the end of last year but kept being pushed back.  

Nipps says these flights might be moved to return to TPA sooner because of the EU’s announcement.