TAMPA, Fla — The time has finally arrived! You can now buy tickets for nonstop flights from Tampa to London.
Virgin Atlantic announced on July 6 that it would be expanding its transatlantic flights with a new, non-stop direct flight from London Heathrow to Tampa International Airport.
Fares start at $524 per person for economy seats and go up to $2,709 per person for upper-class seats, according to TPA's website.
The airline announced the new route is set to launch on Nov. 3. In the first few weeks of the new flight, the airline will offer these flights four times a week.
Once it's up and running, the airline will expand on Nov. 28 to offer daily flights along this route. It will be the only direct connection between London Heathrow and the Tampa Bay region, the airline said.
“We at Tampa International Airport are thrilled to offer our first-ever nonstop route to Heathrow and launch this new partnership with Virgin Atlantic," Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, said in a statement. "Not only does this create another Tampa-London option for our leisure travelers, but there’s a huge upside for our thriving business community to now have a direct connection to the world’s premier business airport. We expect this to be a popular route during what we know will be a very busy winter travel season at TPA.”
Travelers may need to purchase their flights sooner than later because Heathrow Airport is capping daily passenger numbers for the summer and telling airlines to stop selling tickets as it steps up efforts to quell travel chaos caused by soaring travel demand and staff shortages.
Heathrow's CEO John Holland-Kaye said in a statement Monday that it's setting a limit of 100,000 passengers that it can handle each day through Sept. 11. The restriction is likely to result in more canceled flights even after airlines already slashed thousands of flights from their summer schedules.
Airlines are expected to operate flights over the summer with an overall daily capacity of 104,000 seats, or 4,000 more than Heathrow can handle, the airport said. Only about 1,500 of these daily seats have been sold to passengers.