In an ongoing effort to attract more passengers and their dollars, Mineta San Jose International Airport was more than pleased on Monday to announce that Virgin America will offer daily service to Los Angeles beginning in May.
Virgin America, headquartered in Burlingame near San Francisco and known for its low fares and tech-friendly amenities susch as Wi-Fi and "mood-lit cabins," will offer four daily flights to LAX.
The San Jose flights - based out of SJC's new Terminal A - are in addition to the flights running out of San Jose's competition: San Francisco International Airport, where Virgin began operating out of in 2007.
“San Jose International Airport is important for Silicon Valley business travelers and it deserves more flight options,” Virgin America President and CEO David Cush said in a statement. “As an airline known for amenities that keep travelers connected and productive in the skies, we hope our flights can offer some healthy competition and a better choice for the Bay’s entrepreneurs and business travelers.”
Several San Jose's leaders said they were happy about the new service.
“We are grateful to Virgin America for bringing new air service to Silicon Valley," Mayor Chuck Reed said in a statement. "As an innovator, Virgin America will find great support in the world’s center of innovation. Silicon Valley is leading the country in job creation, and Virgin America’s new service will support our job growth with convenient and efficient air service.”
Added Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group: “Our member companies told us loud and clear that increasing air service options at SJC will directly help their businesses thrive. Our innovation-based economy here in the Valley is dependent on staying connected, so we couldn’t be more pleased that Virgin America has decided to offer new nonstop daily flights from SJC."
Virgin's arrival couldn't have come at a better time to an airport struggling to pay off a $1.5 billion renovation and expansion.
San Jose officials held a big event on Jan. 11, when All Nippon Airways began offering non-stop service from San Jose to Tokyo. But the Japanese airline was forced to temporarily halt the service, because of global problems with the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets.
Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board said they have requested from Boeing a full operating history of lithium-ion batteries used in it the grounded Dreamliners after ANA revealed it had repeatedly replaced the batteries before the overheating problems surfaced.