When the new daily, nonstop route between Tampa and San Francisco starts up on United next Thursday, Joe Lopano plans to be on it.

Lopano, Tampa International Airport’s CEO, will be heading to the other Bay area city to visit his son who lives there. Chicago-based United Airlines, a unit of United Continental Holdings, (NYSE: UAL), announced the new route at TIA last summer.

For that first flight, a party kicks off at 4 p.m. on Feb. 16 at Airside A’s gate 10, said TIA spokesman Danny Valentine.…