All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced that new nonstop service between Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) and Narita International Airport in Tokyo will start January 11, 2013. The inaugural flight will bring the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to the Bay Area.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce have been actively engaged in the effort to recruit direct service to Tokyo, which is a priority travel route for Silicon Valley businesses.
The new flight will depart San Jose at 11:45 a.m. and arrive in Tokyo at 4:10 p.m. The return flight will leave Tokyo at 5:35 p.m. and arrive at SJC at 10:10 the following morning. The service is expected to start with five flights per week, excluding Tuesdays and Thursdays. The afternoon arrival in Tokyo is timed to allow connections to destinations throughout Asia, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Delhi, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Bangkok, and Manila. The new route will be available for booking August 30.
“This is a significant game changer for our airport and I’m confident it will open the door for more flights to serve Silicon Valley,” said Aviation Director Bill Sherry. “The new ANA service is the culmination of years of work and the strong and active support from our business, community and elected leaders.” San Jose officials have been in discussions with ANA since 2008. In February 2011, Mayor Reed and Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, traveled to Tokyo to meet with ANA CEO Shinichiro Ito and other airline executives to discuss the benefits of a direct flight between Tokyo and San Jose.
“While this is terrific news because service to Japan opens up all of Asia as well, it’s only the first step which was to secure the flight and a start date. The real work, to which the 375 CEOs who own the Silicon Valley Leadership Group are committed, is to ensure those ANA flights are full,” said Guardino. “Like Orville and Wilbur Wright, this has been a partnership from day one, between the Leadership Group and Mayor Chuck Reed. After two years of hard work, we have lift off.”
ANA will use its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Tokyo Narita-San Jose route. Built mainly from carbon fiber composite material, the 787 features increased fuel efficiency and passenger comfort. ANA was the launch customer of the 787, ordering 55 of the aircraft in 2004 and taking delivery of the inaugural aircraft this year.