Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Tue July 26 2016

United to Offer Nonstop Flights Between Tampa, San Francisco

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | July 26, 2016

United to Offer Nonstop Flights Between Tampa, San Francisco

PHOTO: Tampa International Airport. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia).

Travelers en route to San Francisco by way of Tampa will soon be able to fly direct from Tampa International Airport.

The Tampa Bay Times reported the airport has finally landed coveted nonstop service to the Bay Area, with United Airlines launching daily flights starting Feb. 16.

As the tech capital of the world, San Francisco's Silicon Valley makes it a key destination among those traveling for business and airport officials told the Times the Bay Area has been a "top domestic priority for some time."

Data from Tampa International Airport reveals that nearly 200 air travelers passing through the airport in a given day are headed to San Francisco.

While there's no denying the demand for a connection between Tampa and San Francisco, both the time and cost of travel have proven to be huge obstacles for passengers. Taking layovers and connecting flights into consideration, it currently takes up to 10 hours to fly from Tampa to San Francisco.

What's more, an economy seat can cost anywhere between $500 and $800.

READ MORE: United Airlines Unveils New Business Class Service

However, the new nonstop flight could cut both figures in half. An economy seat for United's nonstop service could start as low as $300, while the flight would take approximately six hours. 

Flying from San Francisco to Tampa would take just five hours.

"We saw significant growth of traffic in between the two cities. And United is in a growth mode, so this flight made sense," United's Managing Director of Domestic Planning Jim Ferea told the Times. "Tampa is fast becoming a center for technology and we wanted to connect the city with the largest city for technology."

According to the Times, the flight will be operated on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft able to seat more than 150 passengers. Once service begins next year, the daily flights will depart San Francisco at 8:30 a.m. local time and take off from Tampa at 5:50 p.m. local time.

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