To celebrate the arrival of Germany's signature air carrier, Lufthansa, in Tampa Bay Sept. 25, Tampa International Airport plans to turn the main terminal into a little corner of Deutschland.
Starting Aug. 21, a German village square will fill the main terminal between Airsides E and F and become the backdrop for a month worth of music, food, wine-tasting and, naturlich, beer events. The airport will also display the works of Otto Neumann, a painter and printmaker in the airport's in-house art gallery.
“With this new service, Germany has become closer than ever before to the residents of Tampa Bay,” said Maria Cook, Tampa International’s Event Manager. “We want to expose the general public to German culture and traditions, and hopefully entice them to visit Germany.”
Lufthansa begins flying non-stop from its hub in Frankfurt, Germany, five days a week on Sept. 25. The flights -- loaded with both tourists bound for Tampa Bay attractions and wheeler-dealers working some the region's 60-plus German-connected businesses -- are expected to have a $97 million dollar annual economic impact on the region. Each Airbus A340-300 has nearly 300 seats to fill.
Lufthansa's Frankfurt hub puts the Tampa Bay region within one plane fight of potentially billions of new visitors from around the world, including China, India and elsewhere in Europe.
Lufthansa is the latest international airline to stake its claim at TIA. The airport currently receives flights either daily or several times a week from Air Canada, British Airways, COPA Airways and Edelweiss Air.
Thanks to all those international arrivals, the airport anticipates ending 2015 with a 70 percent bump in international passenger traffic compared to fiscal year 2010.