TAMPA, Fla. - Frontier Airlines announced Tuesday four new direct routes to three Caribbean countries from Tampa.
Beginning in June and July, the budget-friendly airline will offer non-stop service to Punta Cana and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Montego Bay, Jamaica and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The new service adds to Tampa’s international destinations, which are beginning to expand once again after two years of contractions during the pandemic. Frontier’s Dominican Republic and Jamaica services mark the first new international destinations since the start of the pandemic.
"That is critically important for Tampa International to grow its international footprint," said Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano. "We know that we have the population base to support many of these flights."
Frontier executives said they’re investing in Tampa because they believe it’s more than just a tourist destination.
"Tampa has been seen by most airlines as more of a destination," said Frontier senior vice president of commercial Daniel Shurz. "Florida of course has a huge tourism industry and the Gulf Coast is a very popular region, but this is a metro area of over 3 million people."
Last year, the airline established a new Tampa crew base, adding 250 flight attendants and 140 pilots in 2021.
"We invested in the crew base here in Tampa in 2021 because we saw the opportunity to grow and because we saw the opportunity to add more destinations," said Shurz.
One year later, their Tampa service has grown to 28 destinations, including five international routes to the Caribbean. Last month the airline announced direct service to Cancun in Mexico.
"We bring low fares, we bring America's youngest fleet of aircraft, and we fly 43 percent further on a gallon of gas than the average in the U.S.," said Shurz. "And now, instead of flying through a much busier, much more congested airport, you can enjoy the calm of using Tampa International."
Lopano said TPA is "slowly but surely" restoring its international service to pre-pandemic levels. The airport has since restored existing service to Panama City, Havana, London, Cancun, Nassau, Grand Cayman, Frankfurt, Zurich and several cities in Canada.
The international flights not only mean more convenience for Bay Area travelers, airport officials said they make a huge impact on the local economy.
Lopano said a single European flight route can bring about $150 million in economic benefit to the Tampa Bay region.
"It means new visitor spending, new jobs, better tips for our waiters and waitresses, more people riding in our Ubers, staying in our hotels, using our beaches, going to our museums or going to the Straz," said Lopano. "All these things are now possible when you bring these new visitors into our city."
New Routes from Tampa International Airport (TPA):
- San Juan, Puerto Rico – Service starts on June 23 and will run daily.
- Santo Domingo, D.R. – Service starts on June 30 and will run 2x weekly.
- Montego bay, Jamaica – Service starts on June 24 and will run 2x weekly.
- Punta Cana, D.R. – Service starts on July 2 and will run 1x weekly.
Frequency and times are subject to change, so check FlyFrontier.com for the most updated schedule.