Showing posts with label san jose airport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose airport. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Spirit Airlines begins flying from SJC today

Super low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has officially begun service from SJC's Terminal A. They are starting with two flights per day to Las Vegas, one to San Diego, and another to Dallas Fort Worth. Unfortunately these are all routes that are currently being served by other airlines at San Jose International, but the competition will help drive prices down.

Ironically, travelers on San Jose's lowest cost carrier will have easy access to airport lounges as both of them at SJC are in Terminal A--One by gate A8 and another on the way to Terminal B around gate A15. You can enter for free with Priority Pass or buy a day pass to enjoy a meal and cocktails before your flight.

Spirit flights start at only $39 each way, but there are many potential upcharges such as baggage, selecting a seat, and even overhead-bin access.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

SJC airport getting a new name and logo

San Jose's airport is getting a long overdue rebrand. The official name of the airport was the "Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport." Now it will simply be the "San Jose Mineta International Airport." The name is much cleaner and puts San Jose first and foremost while still honoring Norman Mineta, the first Japanese-American mayor of a major US city.

The logo itself is everything that you could hope for in a modern rebrand. It's simple and clear at any resolution, the abstract shapes signify flight, the colors are a nod to the San Jose flag, and I think it will age very well. I love it. Similar to the new SJDA logo, I think they nailed it.

This is in sharp contrast to the VTA logo which after five years I still think is still the single worst rebranding I have ever seen in my entire life.

Without further ado, have a look at the old and new logos below and judge for yourself.

Source: SVBJ



Tuesday, December 6, 2022

SJC passenger traffic is up plus other great news! ✈️

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is finally showing real signs of recovering from the Covid pandemic. October had over a million passengers passing through the airport, which is 32% better than October the previous year. This is still down 28% for 2019, but is a very positive trend. If you look at the data year-to-date (actually year-to-October) then traffic is up 64% from 2021 and only 38% down from 2019--which was the best year ever for San Jose air travel.

Looking forward to 2023, there is a lot of great news that will keep the momentum going. ZIPAIR is launching their nonstop flights from SJC to Japan this month. It might sounds like a random discount airline, but it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL). The route will use a newer 787-8 plane with free WIFI and 290 seats, 18 of which are full-flat business. It will fly out from San Jose at 10am on Mondays, Thursday, and Sundays and arrive at Tokyo Narita at 2:30pm the next day.

In addition to ZIPAIR, there is a rumor that ANA will return to SJC in March with one big change. It will fly to Haneda instead of Narita in Tokyo. What's the difference? Narita is much closer to the city center, so it is generally preferred for travelers with a final destination of Tokyo.

Last but not least, Southwest has launched a six-day-per-week service to Palm Springs. Alaska was the only carrier doing this route before, so with Southwest joining prices have dropped significantly. Palm Springs is a great way to escape the cold in the winter and has one of the most interesting airports in the United States.

Below is a list of all of SJC's current international destinations. With service to 9 different destinations, we're still a bit off from our all-time high of 11 destinations. However, with people returning to travel in a post-pandemic world, I'm optimistic San Jose will score new routes in 2023.

SJC International Flights

  • Asia
    • Tokyo, Narita (ZIPAIR)
  • Europe
    • London (British Airways)
  • North America
    • Vancouver (Air Canada)
    • Guadalajara (Alaska Airlines, Volaris)
    • Cabo San Lucas (Alaska Airlines)
    • Puerto Vallarta (Alaska Airlines)
    • Morelia (Volaris)
    • Zacatecas (Volaris)
    • Leon (Volaris)

Sources: SVBJ, Wiki, ZIPAIR

Monday, May 4, 2020

SJC moves ahead with expansion despite downturn in travel

Before COVID-19, San Jose International was one of the fastest growing airports in the country. To keep up with demand, 8 temporary gates were added to Terminal B, and a major expansion plan was put into motion to create 14 new permanent gates, a 300,000 SQFT hotel with 330 room, and 5,300 new parking spaces.

As traffic was down 97% at the airport compared to last year, I think most people assumed the expansion plans would be on hold. However, the San Jose city council unanimously approved the plans.

Eventually, things will get back to normal. When they do, it is better to build in a downturn then when resources are extremely expensive. It's clear that Silicon Valley isn't going away anytime soon and our abundance of work-from-home-friendly tech jobs means we will likely recover faster than other parts of the world. The airport is a critical resource for us, and I'm glad we're still going ahead with this important long-term investment.

Source: The Merc

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

SJC Terminal C

The San Jose Airport expansion is starting to get more interesting. Instead of just extending Terminal B, it sounds like the current idea floating around is an entire terminal with 14 permanent gates. That would mean additional check-in counters, baggage claim facilities, and security lanes. A "Terminal C" plan could help expedite getting in and out of the airport and balance congested areas.

The new terminal would also get the SJC's first onsite hotel and a 5,000 space parking structure. The cost could run as high as $1.1 billion, but would be self-funded by additional flights.

I think an interesting idea would be to move international flights to Terminal C and really make a world class facility. Those are lucrative flights that greatly benefit the business community and overall economy.

As a little bonus, SJC also ranked the 11th best large airport in the world for on-time flight performance. Way to overachieve!

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

SJC is getting a new international flight in 2020

New gates, passenger records, and now we are getting our international flight roster back on track. San Jose International is on a roll!

Air Canada is adding SJC's 10th international route on May 4th, 2020. Nonstop service to Toronto will be provided in an Airbus A220-300 with 137 seats. 12 of those are business class and the rest are economy in a comfortable 3+2 seat layout (fewer middle seats!).

Each day the flight will leave Toronto at 8:55am and arrive in San Jose at 11:28am. The return flight leaves SJC at 12:15pm and arrives in Toronto at 8:10pm.

Below is our full list of international flights. Unfortunately the Shanghai and Frankfurt routes have been cancelled. Toronto is likely to be a successful route given it was the 12th most requested by business travelers.

  • Asia
    • Tokyo
    • Beijing
  • Europe
    • London
  • North America
    • Vancouver
    • Toronto
    • Guadalajara (served by two different airlines)
    • Cabo San Lucas
    • Morelia
    • Zacatecas
    • Leon

As an added bonus, Southwest is doubling their nonstop Hawaii destinations by adding flights to Kauai and the Big Island this January. The Kauai flight will run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting January 19th, 2020 while the Kona flight runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting January 21st 2020.

Sources: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)

Monday, June 10, 2019

SJC is getting five new gates this month

SJC is one of the fastest growing airports in the country. In fact, this year we overtook Oakland to become the second busiest airport in the Bay Area. The downside to the rapid growth is that we are quickly running out of space. Fortunately, a $54 million airport expansion with five temporary gates will go live this month and increase capacity in Terminal B by 50%. A 6th gate will also be ready in November.

The new gates will let Southwest and Alaska airlines consolidate their operations to make it easier for connecting flights. It will also open up opportunities for expansion. For example, Delta is going to make San Jose a focus city and wants to more aggressively compete with Southwest and Alaska. Delta is planning to increase service at SJC by 23.1%, which means a lot more flights and better prices for San Joseans.

As exciting as this news is, it is only the beginning. Terminal B will eventually have a permanent 12-gate expansion (see diagram below) with new restaurants an shopping options. This would bring our total gate count to 40 and it could be built without disruptions to the temporary gates. This is still five to seven years away, but shows the airport still has a long way to go before hitting its potential.

Sources: SVBJ, Flight Global, thanks to Daniel Martinez for the tip regarding Delta!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Downtown San Jose building heights set to increase

Believe it or not, San Jose building heights are actually below FAA requirements. The restrictions were self-imposed to boost the airport and attract more international flights. Now that we have one of the fastest growing airports in the country as well as the 2nd busiest in the Bay Area, the City Council has decided to remove some of those restrictions to help Downtown San Jose development.

There will be some negative impact to SJC. On the rare days with inclement weather where long-distance flights have to take off south over Downtown, they will need to either limit the number of passengers or cargo. This is required to safely fly over the Downtown core in the extremely rare event where one of the two engines becomes disabled.

The positive side to the changes is that most of Downtown will get an extra 15-30 feet of develop-able space, making high-rise construction more compelling to developers. In the Diridon area, you might see buildings up to 150 feet taller than what is allowed today. The change is estimated to open up over $4.4 billion worth of vertical real estate in the Diridon area alone.

Perhaps one day we'll have electric planes with vertical take off and landing and can completely eliminate the height requirements, but for now this is a positive step towards building a more dense and vibrant Downtown.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)

Monday, March 4, 2019

Boring Company tunnel from Downtown San Jose to SJC

Last month there was a surprise announcement that Sam Liccardo has been in talks with The Boring Company for the past 18 months about a project that would connect Diridon to the airport via a 4-mile tunnel. The Boring Company is a disruptor in the tunneling space using hybrid-electric boring machines and several other innovations to reduce the cost of tunneling by a factor of 10. A two-way tunnel to the airport could cost less than $100 million versus the $800+ million a traditional people-mover would cost to build.

Now is really the perfect opportunity to start looking at next generation transportation options. As we have witnessed with California High-Speed Rail, paying for something that is both the most expensive and slowest high-speed train in the world makes little sense. Same goes for spending almost a billion dollars for a 4 mile people mover shuttling people at 25-35 MPH. If we can lay the foundation for a network that will reduce traffic and move people faster and do it at a far lower cost, that is worth exploring. Kudos for Sam for taking the initiative so long ago. Silicon Valley deserve a transit system that makes our innovative heritage proud.

Source: Teslarati, SVBJ

Monday, January 28, 2019

SJC had its best year ever in 2018

Even with Lufthansa leaving SJC, the airport still posted a 10.7% year-over-year passenger growth in November. Overall passenger counts for 2018 were up a staggering 15%, making it by far the fastest growing airport in the region. San Jose now has 16.6% of the Bay Area air travel market while Oakland is at 15.9% (keep in mind Oakland was ahead of SJC until 2018).

In December, SJC broke their all-time passenger travel record. The previous record was 14,300,000 passengers and was set way back in the year 2000.

There are no signs of San Jose International slowing down. Several new flights are coming this year as well as six temporary gates that will serve as an introduction to a much larger expansion. I'm hoping we will get several new international routes this year.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)

Monday, September 10, 2018

SJC adding even more gates and flights than expected, including a new international route

Just as San Jose International received approval to build an extra four temporary gates at the end of terminal B, a new proposal comes up to extend that to six. Nine new flights have recently been added and several more are coming before the end of the year. The goal is to keep each airline's gates together as much as possible, which is especially helpful when you have connecting flights.

The revised proposal would still be completed June 2019, but would add two additional parking spots for planes, one of which would have a jet bridge while the other would require using stairs or an elevator (just like the old terminal C days). The passenger waiting room for the new gates would also grow from 8,300 SQFT to 12,500 SQFT. The new plan would still cost around $50 million (and 500 parking spots). Eventually there will be a 10 gate permanent expansion in the same area.

Can SJC justify an extra 6 gates? The answer is absolutely. Not only is it the fastest growing international airport in the country right now based on passenger growth, but new flights are being added left and right. For example...

A new airline called California Pacific is launching a new twice-daily San Jose to Carlsbad route (airport north of San Diego). This will use a 50-seat Embraer ERJ145. This is the first time San Jose would have a direct route to this airport from the commercial terminal.

Volaris is adding their fourth nonstop international destination--to the beautiful city of Leon. The flight starts on November 17th and will use a 174-seat Airbus A320 (all economy). For those counting this is our 12th international route:

  • Asia
    • Tokyo
    • Beijing
    • Shanghai
  • Europe
    • London
    • Frankfurt
  • North America
    • Vancouver
    • Guadalajara (served by three different airlines)
    • Cabo San Lucas
    • Mexico City
    • Morelia
    • Zacatecas
    • Leon

Delta is also adding Detroit (a Delta hub) as a nonstop destination from SJC starting on November 15th. The flight will use a Boeing 737 with 160 seats (16 in first class).

At this rate, we will need a lot more than six new gates in the near future.

Sources: SVBJ, SVBJ (2), SVBJ (3)SVBJ (4),

Thursday, July 26, 2018

San Jose International overtakes Oakland as the Bay Area's 2nd busiest airport

After 17 years trailing Oakland International in terms of passenger numbers, SJC's incredible growth rate has brought the airport back to 2nd place. SFO still retains 68.3% of the passenger market while SJC's slice of the pie is 15.9% and Oakland is now at 15.8%.

San Jose International had by far the highest growth rate year-over-year among Bay Area airports. Between May 2017 to May 2018, passenger growth was up 17.1%. SFO was up 7% and Oakland was up 4.1%. This means all three airports are doing better than 2017, but ours is fairing particularly well.

The growth creates both direct and indirect benefits to San Joseans. The most obvious benefit is more flights and routes, which also tend to drive prices down as competition increases. Since the airport is owned by the city of San Jose, this increases tax dollars going into our coffers. Spending from visitors also bolsters our economy and is especially significant on international routes--which now make up over 8% of passenger traffic.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 7, 2018

Southwest launching new flights from SJC to Hawaii

The good news continues to roll in for our airport. Southwest announced last week that they are going to add flights from San Jose to Hawaii. This is already one of the most popular destinations from SJC and is currently serviced by both Hawaiian airlines and Alaska Airlines. Competition means more departure options, lower fares, and more tax dollars for San Jose (both directly and indirectly). Southwest already implied that they will have the lowest rates for the route, great news for us.

Southwest is planning to fly to four different islands, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii-"The Big Island" (Kona). Tickets sales will begin later this year and service could begin as soon as this winter using long-range versions of Boeing 737s.

As an added bonus, Southwest is also planning to add inter-island flights. That means lower fares for those that want to travel to multiple islands on one trip.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Alaska Air offering a new San Jose >> New York flight

In an effort to keep Southwest at bay, Alaska Airlines is continuing to add new flights at San Jose international. The latest is a new nonstop from SJC to JFK that starts on July 6th.

JetBlue already has a redeye to JFK and Delta will start a new redeye on June 8th. Both Alaka and United have flights to Newark International as well.

One major convenience the new Alaska flight offers is that it's not a red eye. The flight leaves at 7:05am from SJC and arrives at JFK's Terminal 7 at 3:43pm. The return flight leaves JFK at 4:45pm and arrives back home at SJC at 8:23pm. The route will be served by an Airbus A320 (twin-jet, single-aisle).

San Jose went from having one direct flights to New York to five nonstops within a few years. It feels like there is still a lot more to come.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, March 1, 2018

SJC getting a new nonstop to Everett

If you haven't heard of an airport in Everett, Washington we can't blame you. This is a brand new 2-gate airport that is 24 miles north of downtown Seattle. Paine Field is adjacent to the Boeing factory and is currently used for corporate and private aviation (as well as delivery of brand new Boeing planes). When the commercial terminal opens, San Jose will be one of the inaugural routes Alaska Airlines will offer. Southwest is also coming to the airport, so it will be interesting to see if they will offer the route as well.

The San Jose <> Everett flight will be available towards the end of the year.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

SJC might be getting direct service to India

This tidbit is deep in the rumor-mill, but there was a special surprise embedded in an Air India announcement for new flights at SFO. The airline already has a direct flight to New Delhi that flies six times per week and this summer they are launching a new Mumbai route with three flights per week out of San Francisco. However, check out this portion of the announcement:

"...This has prompted to us to connect Mumbai directly with San Francisco and we plan to launch a flight service to the Silicon Valley from the coming summers,"the official said."

The only airport they could be referring to is San Jose International. A direct flight to India from San Jose would make perfect sense given the large South Asian population in Silicon Valley and the business relationships between local companies and those in Mumbai, Bangalore, and other Indian tech centers. The bigger question is what does the "coming summers" mean? 2019? 2020? It's not clear from the article, but hopefully more details will be released soon.

Source: India Times, hat-tip to Daniel Martinez for sending this in!

Friday, January 26, 2018

SJC is planning a $1 billion Expansion!

San Jose International has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past five years and has finally hit a point where a major expansion is feasible. Three additional gates were recently added, bringing the airport to a total of 31 gates. The new expansion being planned would add at least 9 more at the end of Terminal B, bringing the total to 40 gates or more.

This would mean more flights, destinations, and tax dollars for the city (San Jose owns the airport). While still in the early planning stages, it would be interesting to use some of the new gates as a dedicated international terminal given all of the new overseas routes.

The target cost of the expansion is $1 billion (for context Terminal B was $1.3 billion) and the goal would be to open all of the new gates by 2024.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, December 18, 2017

SJC is getting a new nonstop flight to JFK!

Delta airlines is delivering on our #1 most requested domestic route. Starting Jun 8, 2018, you will be able to fly Delta nonstop from San Jose to JFK International in New York. The flight will leave San Jose at 10:35pm and arrive at JFK at 7:15am (yup, it's a redeye). The return flight will leave JFK at 8:15am and arrive back at SJC at 11:45am. The timing on that return flight is highly desirable, especially for business travelers.

JetBlue also operates a pair of nonstops between San Jose and JFK, but with less desirable times, no first class option, and fewer "in-network" connecting flights.

The flights will use Boeing 737-800 planes with 16 first class seats, 36 Comfort+ seats, and 108 economy seats. This is yet another big win for our airport and for travelers.

 Source: Hat-tip to Daniel Martinez, SVBJ

Monday, November 27, 2017

Volaris adding two more international flights at SJC!

SJC is about to get two more nonstop routes to Mexico. Volaris is launching flights to Morelia and Zacatecas. Service to Morelia starts on December 15th with flights leaving at 1:54pm and arriving at 7:46pm. The return flight leaves Morelia at 9:59am and arrives at SJC at 12:24pm. This route was previously served by Mexicana.

Service to Zacatecas starts on December 18th, with the flight leaving SJC at 1:33pm and arriving at 6:59pm. The return flight leaves at 10:05am and arrives back home at 12:03pm. This is a brand new route for San Jose.

Both routes will use an Airbus 319 or Airbus 320.

These two will respectively be San Jose's 10th and 11th nonstop international routes. Here is the full list by continent:

  • Asia
    • Tokyo
    • Beijing
    • Shanghai
  • Europe
    • London
    • Frankfurt
  • North America
    • Vancouver
    • Guadalajara (served by three different airlines)
    • Cabo San Lucas
    • Mexico City
    • Morelia
    • Zacatecas

We are yet again surpassing the all-time high for international destinations from San Jose, and there are more to come.

Source: SVBJ (subscription required)

As an aside, here are a few photos of the new international baggage area and welcome lounge. F2 is the second baggage carousel. On my last trip it took exactly 15 minutes to get from the plane, through customs, get my suitcase, and be out the door. This has to be the most efficient customs processing center in the country.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Stats: SJC is the 4th fastest growing airport in terms of international travel

We went from a couple to nine international routes in what seems like no time at all. Based on international passengers, San Jose had the 4th fastest growing airport in the country between 2012 and 2016.

I would actually argue that we led the country in international growth. Reno, Austin, and Columbus were the top three and all of them had almost 0 international travel in 2012. When you take a number close to 0 and add anything to it, you are going to get a very large percentage. San Jose went from 84,000 international passengers in 2012 to 330,400 in 2016. That growth of quarter million passengers is not only far more than any other airport on the top 10, but it is greater than the rest of the top 5 combined.

SJC also had more passengers in 2012 than any other airport on the list--the larger you are the more difficult it is to grow. This makes the growth SJC has shown even more impressive.

Source: SVBJ (requires subscription)

International Passengers