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

Friday, May 24, 2024

SJC is finally getting nonstop service to Washington DC

When it rains it pours. Earlier this week Frontier announced they are coming back to San Jose with five nonstop routes. Now, it looks like Spirit Airlines is launching one of San Jose's most requested routes of all time.

San Jose is one of the few big cities without a direct connection to DC. Given how important AI, semiconductors, and technology in general are to the United States--this makes no sense. Fortunately, Spirit Airlines is working on a nonstop flight to Ronald Regan Washington National Airport (DCA).

If it goes through, it will be the only low-fare airline option between Silicon Valley and Washington DC. The route is currently pending approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

I fly quite a bit but have yet to experience Spirit Airlines. That will be changing very soon. I knew they were categorized as an "ultra-low-cost" airline that slots below Southwest, but I didn't realize just how inexpensive they could be. You can book a business-class-sized seat to Vegas from SJC for less than the Southwest fare on several dates. If you are travelling light, the cheapest option can be half the cost of Southwest--which I already thought was pretty reasonable.

Source: SVBJ



Wednesday, May 22, 2024

SJC regains an airline and five more nonstop routes

San Jose Mineta International Airport had some pretty big news yesterday. Frontier Airlines is returning to San Jose! It's always exciting to get a new airline, or in this case regain one. Frontier previously flew to San Jose in 2018 and 2019.

Frontier will add five daily nonstop routes this summer in two parts. Service to Denver and San Diego begin on July 22nd. Service to Las Vegas, Los Angeles (LAX), and Phoenix begin on August 13th. It also looks like they have a code-sharing agreement with Volaris for flights to Guadalajara, Mexico.

I'm happy with any addition of flights to San Jose, but all five of these routes already exist at SJC. Actually, all of them have not one but at least 2-4 other airlines flying those routes. Competition does means lower prices and more departure/arrival time options. Also, Frontier is an ultra-low cost carrier like Spirit Airlines, so their prices are already low to begin with. They even have some flights as low as $19 to promote the launch of the new San Jose service.

If they are successful with their initial offering, hopefully they will bestow some new nonstop routes as well.



Monday, April 8, 2024

SJC is getting new flights from Spirit Airlines

Commercial aviation still hasn't fully recovered from the pandemic, but it's heading in the right direction at SJC. Spirit is the latest airline to add new flights from San Jose. They started service less than a year ago with service to Dallas, Las Vegas, and San Diego.

Starting June 5th, Spirit will add flights to LA (twice daily), Portland (once daily), and Baltimore (four times per week). 

LA is also serviced by Alaska, Delta, and Southwest while Portland is serviced by Alaska and Southwest. However, Baltimore will be an exclusive route at SJC for Spirit Airlines. The last time San Jose had a Baltimore route was in 2019 with Southwest.

It's always great to see new destinations, but even increased competition on existing routes will help keep prices low and options plentiful for San Jose travelers.

For some bonus good news, Spirit will add increased service to Las Vegas and San Diego in the summer.

Source: SVBJ


 

Monday, March 25, 2024

SJC celebrates 75 years with a giant chick in Terminal B

If you have flown out of San Jose recently, you might be wondering why there is a giant inflatable baby chick at baggage claim. The bird is there to commemorate the airport's 75th anniversary. The first commercial flight at SJC arrived in 1949 with two pilots, seven passengers, and 2,550 baby chickens. Only the chickens exited at SJC, the rest of the passengers continued on to LAX.

For the full history of the airport and a contest to win some swag by taking photos with the chicks (there are multiple throughout the airport) fly over here.




Tuesday, February 20, 2024

ZIPAIR adding more flights from San Jose to Japan

Finally some good news for SJC. After a series of cutbacks from airlines, we have an international expansion. ZIPAIR is planning to add a sixth weekly flight from San Jose International to Tokyo between June 1st and September 30th. 

This means that San Joseans will have a nonstop to Tokyo every single day except for Tuesdays during the peak summer season. This is also ZIPAIR's second expansion as they initially started with three flights per week and then moved to five.

Increases in international flights are significant as international tourists have a larger positive financial impact to the local economy than domestic ones.

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

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

New flights coming to SJC

Thanks to COVID, we went from having the fastest growing airport in the country and 11 international flights to a ghost town with only six international flights, all to Mexico.

Our fortunes may be slowly changing, the first new international route since COVID has just been announced by Volaris. They are adding a new nonstop between Mexico City and SJC that will fly three times per week (Mon, Wed, and Fri). This is the first time we'll have a direct flight to Mexico City in about two years.

Below is our revised list of international flights:




As an added bonus, Alaska Airlines is adding a seasonal nonstop to the ski town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming on December 19th. This will be a twice-weekly flight until April and will be the first time this route has ever appeared at SJC.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)


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 8, 2020

Iconic Boeing 747s are coming to SJC

SJC has been able to handle the famous double-decker 747 for quite some time and has even accepted and handful of emergency landings when the weather has been bad at SFO. The reason why we haven't had regular service using double-decker 747 planes isn't because of the size of our runways or noise (common myths), it's simply because of demand.

Thanks to the astronomical passenger growth at SJC, we are getting our first route using a 747!  British Airways is swapping out the Boeing 787-9 for it's nonstop flight to London with a Boeing 747-400. This will add 60 additional seats to the flight. Generally the 2nd floor is business class seats in a 2+2 configuration.

Even though the flight will revert back to the 787 in late October, this is a great sign that our carriers feel confident enough that they can start expanding service and use the largest class of planes available (only the Airbus A380 is larger).

Source: SVBJ, SBJV (2)


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

SJC gets their first daytime nonstop to Boston

Next summer, you won't need to take a redeye if you're travelling to Boston. JetBlue is adding a daytime nonstop starting June 11, 2020. If you don't mind the redeye, don't worry that is sticking around.

JetBlue will also start flying to London from Boston in a couple years, so this will likely provide a nice alternative to British Airways from San Jose when those flights kick off in 2021. I've taken the British Airways SJC flight and it's fantastic, but can be expensive.

Speaking of cost, it looks like San Jose International is now the fourth most affordable airport in the country. This is based on average airfare and food costs. Our neighbor up north, SFO, is the 4th most expensive in the country. Something to keep in mind next time you fly.

Source: SVBJ


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

SJC's second lounge is now open

San Jose International has an amenity it has never had before--a second travel lounge! The Club SJC has been around for several years and has won a handful of international awards. It's located on the 3rd floor across from the international gates (Gate 15) and has a full bar, food, nice restrooms and showers, and even a great view. It just has one issue... it's doing so well that it is often very full.

The solution was to build a second "The Club SJC" in front of Gate A8. Ironically this is the same space as San Jose's only previous airport lounge, the American Airlines Admirals Club, which was only around when American had a hub in San Jose. Unlike the former Admirals Club, the new lounge is open to anyone for a fee ($39 per person I believe) and provides MUCH better amenities.

The food and snacks at The Club SJC are very good by lounge standards and there is an open bar for visitors with cocktails (bourbon and ginger-ale is default drink there). The new lounge has plenty of comfortable seats, an area with desks and power outlets for work, and a quiet/napping zone. I also found the service to be excellent when I used the lounge a couple weeks ago. There is no better place to hang out in SJC while waiting for your flight.

My only request, would be for them to build another lounge on the other side of the airport in the middle of the B gates. It's an especially long walk between the six temporary gates Southwest is using to either of the lounges. Even then, it's worth it for a snack, drink, and some relaxation before your flight.

If you want to get access to these lounges for free, I highly recommend the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card. Every time you fly, you get access for up to three people into either of the San Jose lounge as well as lounges in just about any major airport in the world (SFO and Oakland included). It has a high annual fee, but you get annual perks easily worth double the fee even if you just travel two or three times a year. If you're interested, here is the link.

Source: SVBJ





Monday, October 21, 2019

SJC getting a new flight to Puerto Vallarta

Alaska Airlines will bring us an 11th international destination early next year. Our first nonstop to Puerto Vallarta starts on March 19th, 2020. I've actually been there several times and it's one of my favorite vacation spots.

Alaska will use an Airbus A320 for the route with 12 first class, 24 premium, and 108 economy seats.

Below is our revised list of international flights:

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

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)


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

More routes and flight capacity coming to SJC

San Jose International is getting two brand new routes next year around June. Southwest is launching daily nonstop service between San Jose and Nashville, Tennessee as well as a weekly nonstop between San Jose and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. The latter is a major tech hub, so building out this route is a no-brainer. Southwest flights to Hawaii will likely also start sometime in 2019.

Delta, our third most popular carrier, is also adding 72% more capacity on the popular San Jose <> Seattle route. It is doing this by adding two more flights in a larger, more comfortable plane (Airbus A220-100, photo below). The extra capacity will also be serviced by Delta Airlines proper and not Compass (aka Delta Connection). A couple weeks ago they also started nonstop service to Detroit.

Alaska Airlines, which is based in Seattle, will be launching a nonstop route on February 12th to a brand new Seattle airport in Everett, just North of Seattle.

As busy as SJC has become today, it looks like the airport is only getting started. They extra six gates they are working on can't come soon enough.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ (2)



Thursday, October 25, 2018

SJC International expansion taps the brakes

We have become accustomed to a steady stream of positive news regarding San Jose International Airport. Over the past couple years, ridership and new routes have ballooned. In fact, we have overtaken Oakland as the Bay Area's #2 airport.

However, there has been a recent contraction in International routes. Perhaps we grew too quickly and have to adjust the pace.

Aeromexico is stopping service to Guadalajara (it is also pulling out of four other airports). Earlier in the summer, Air China also stopped the twice weekly flight to Shanghai and Lufthansa cancelled their flight to Frankfurt Germany. Guadalajara is still serviced by both Volaris and Alaska Airlines (it's also a really cool city with amazing food and culture worthy of a visit). Here is the updated list of international routes out of SJC:

  • Asia
    • Tokyo (ANA)
    • Beijing (Hainan)
    • Shanghai (Air China)
  • Europe
    • London (British Airways)
    • Frankfurt (Luftansa)
  • North America
    • Vancouver (Air Canada)
    • Guadalajara (Volaris, Alaska Airlines, Aeromexico)
    • Cabo San Lucas (Alaska Airlines)
    • Mexico City (Volaris)
    • Morelia (Volaris)
    • Zacatecas (Volaris)
    • Leon (Volaris)

While unfortunate, perhaps this gives us the opportunity to consider more popular routes between tech centers. Seoul, Bangalore, Tel Aviv, and Dubai would bring a ton of value to San Jose and Silicon Valley.

Source: SVBJ


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 21, 2018

SJC is the fastest growing airport in the Bay Area

There is good reason why San Jose continues to get additional flight routes month after month. The airport has grown passenger traffic an astounding 18.5% year-over-year. It will only be a matter of time before SJC passes Oakland as the 2nd largest airport by passenger volume. In February, San Jose's year-over-year passenger growth was an even more impressive 20.8% while it was 11.5% at SFO and 5.3% at Oakland. That puts SJC and OAK neck-and-neck for 2nd place.

In March, international travel was up by 23% year-over-year. This is the most lucrative market for the airport and city, as international trips tend to bring the largest economic impact and taxes to the city. It also helps support San Jose companies while giving residents more travel options.

With a major $1 billion expansion in the works, the future looks bright!

Source: SVBJ