Gate C9 at San Jose Mineta International Airport turned into a Hawaiian-style party early Wednesday morning, complete with leis and traditional dancing.
Alaska Airlines launched its inaugural flight from San Jose to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii with a 7:30 a.m. flight. The flights will be taking off three times a week. Hawaiian Airlines already offers flights from San Jose to Honolulu and Kahului. That means all three Bay Area airports now have non-stop service to Hawaii.
The carrier's commitment to the San Jose airport is a vote of confidence for the city, airport spokesman David Vossbrink says. Frontier Airlines recently announced that they will no longer be making its twice-daily flights to Denver, becoming the first carrier to pull out of the airport since the recession began.
Even through the economy is struggling and travel is down, the airport is looking at the bright side. When the economy does turn around and people start taking more trips for pleasure, Vossbrink says, San Jose will be ready with it's shiny, new state-of-the-art airport.
San Jose is already in the hole by about $1billion for costs to modernize and upgrade the airport but Vossbrink says the airport is committed to paying it's debt when the massive renovation project is done. "We'll pay all our obligations," Vossbrink said.