It's been a long time coming for San Jose travelers.
For the first time in more than five years, Mineta San Jose International will once again have a direct flight connecting the Bay Area to Asia.
Today, All Nippon Airways or ANA announced it will have five flights to and from San Jose to Tokyo’s Narita Airport starting January 11th.
And it’s bringing the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the Bay Area.
San Jose Director of Aviation Bill Sherry says that’s one of many perks that the new deal with ANA is bringing to the South Bay.
It fills a void that was left behind when American Airlines canceled its 16-year old direct flight to Tokyo in 2007.
One of the differences here is that American operated a daily flight, seven days a week. Sherry says the goal is to eventually double the number of ANA flights from five a week, if the demand is there.
When we lost a lot of service, we went around to businesses and did a lot of survey and Tokyo just came out number one in terms of desirability for connecting.” The benefits go beyond a San Jose-Tokyo route.
ANA says it has timed out the flight so that people can connect with other flights headed to the top Asian destinations: Singapore, Manila, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Delhi, and Bangkok.
The Hu Family of Cupertino agrees the new route is exciting, especially because it travels so much.
“I think that’s a great idea go straight to Tokyo, that’s very convenient for people here. There’s a lot of Japanese people living here and it’d be great for more people to visit,” says Athena Hu. You can begin booking the new route on August 30.
The first flight goes out January 11, leaving at the same time at 11:45 a.m., for five days a week excluding Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sherry says the talks with ANA began four years ago, the same time he and other city and business leaders started talking to other airlines about adding more international direct flights.
The goal is to get one to London and maybe Frankfurt sometime at the end of 2013.