British Airways to start flights to San Jose – not New Orleans

BA San Jose

The capital of Silicon Valley will be linked to the capital of the UK from 4 May next year, when British Airways will commence daily 787-9 operations from its London Heathrow hub to San Jose. As a result, the airline will fly over 270 weekly services between the UK and the US – further strengthening the value of this most important market.

Launching on 4 May next year, British Airways has made San Jose (SJC) it latest US destination, with a daily 787-9 service planned. The sector will become BA’s 20th US route from its London Heathrow hub, the fourth city served in California (joining Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego), and based on the number of frequencies being flown this summer (plus the extra ones announced to Seattle-Tacoma and Las Vegas this week) not being changed in S16, means the oneworld carrier will operate over 270 flights per week on this most important market.

Route (airport code) Weekly frequency
New York JFK (JFK) 56
Boston (BOS) 28
Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), New York Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), San Francisco (SFO), Washington Dulles (IAD) 14
Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) 12*
Las Vegas (LAS) 10*
Phoenix (PHX), San Diego (SAN), Atlanta (ATL), Austin-Bergstrom (AUS), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN) 7
Source: OAG Schedules Analyser w/c 24 Aug. *Extra three weekly flights to LAS and weekly flight to SEA for S16.

Like the start of its now daily service to Austin-Bergstrom on 3 March 2014, the airline is seeking to provide transfer passengers from across Europe (and indeed probably the Middle East and western Asia) with another US USP – as BA will be the only carrier offering direct flights to Europe from San Jose, as it still does from the Texan state capital.

New Orleans – nearly, but not quite

The result of our analysis last June of the most likely new US destination for BA – New Orleans – has ultimately been proven wrong – for now. However, and blowing our own trumpet a little bit, we did think that San Jose was in with a good chance of being next. When we asked the Silicon Valley airport’s Air Service Development Manager Mark Kiehl last year about the likelihood of a Heathrow service he said things like “BA is a very desirable candidate for future service,” and “very few markets have the unique dynamics that SJC is experiencing,” which in airport-speak means “We’ve been telling them for years to fly here and they are still not listening”. Well clearly Kiehl’s message has got through to the network planners at Waterside. We also think that New Orleans’ time will still come, as it has all the hallmarks of what type of destination BA seems to be looking for stateside.

BA New Orleans

Clearly given the above, we thought New Orleans would have been next US destination (after its launch last year of Austin-Bergstrom) for British Airways, but San Jose Airport in California was on our radar too – we even spoke to them about it.

Thrilled and delighted

Attending a news conference at SJC yesterday was BA SVP – North America Simon Brooks, who said: “We are thrilled to be bringing our most technically advanced aircraft to the tech centre of the world. We want to give the business community in and around Silicon Valley more options to access the UK and Europe, quickly and easily. Choice and flexibility when flying are critical for our Bay area customers so we believe this new service will be a welcome addition to our network. With connections beyond London to over 130 destinations around the world, we’re delighted that we can bring the world just a bit closer.”

“London is the # 1 requested international destination from Mineta San Jose International Airport, and we’re so pleased to share the news that we have delivered this service to Silicon Valley businesses and residents,” said Director of Aviation Kim Becker. “We warmly welcome British Airways and the innovative 787-9 to San Jose, and know our mutual customers will also enjoy SJC’s convenience, on-time performance, and technologically-advanced facilities and services.”

London taxi San Jose

A London taxi delivered San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to Mineta San Jose Airport, who announced the first-ever non-stop transatlantic service between the UK and Silicon Valley in California.


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