San Jose-Tokyo Flights Coming Soon

Mineta San José International Airport had trouble living up to its name after a $1.3 billion modernization project was completed in 2010. Simply put, the word “international” left some people dubious about the lack of flights beyond U.S. borders.

But a step in the right direction was announced Wednesday. All Nippon Airways (ANA) will now offer non-stop service between Narita International Airport in Tokyo and San Jose.

According to a press release sent out by Mayor Chuck Reed’s office, flights between the two cities will start sometime during the 2012-13 fiscal year.

“We are delighted by this news and thank ANA for its confidence in San José and Silicon Valley,” said Reed, who traveled to Tokyo in February this year to meet ANA officials. “Whether on business or visiting friends and family, Bay Area residents will discover that ANA’s new route from San Jose to Narita International Airport provides a convenient gateway to Asia and the Pacific Rim.”

San Jose officials discussed the flights with ANA starting in 2008. Last February, Mayor Reed, Carl Guardino—CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and other city and airport staff traveled to Tokyo to speak with ANA President and CEO Shinichiro. Clearly, the meeting paid dividends.

“For the past two years, the leadership group’s 345 Member Company CEOs have championed direct flights between San Jose and Tokyo, and to other Asian destinations beyond,” Guardino said, adding a little jab at San Francisco’s airport. “Mineta San Jose International Airport is much closer to most Silicon Valley companies and their employees than the Bay Area’s other airports. It’s a waste of time to have world-class talent stuck in traffic inching up Highway 101 to SFO. SJC is easy access and leads the Bay Area and the nation in on-time departures and arrivals.”

According to the mayor’s office, ANA is expected to use its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Tokyo Narita-San José route. ANA was the launch customer of the 787, ordering 55 of the aircraft in 2004. Two of the new aircraft have been delivered and are in service in Japan, with a total of 20 expected to be delivered by March 2013. After training long-haul crews on the new aircraft, ANA will initiate the new international service.

San Jose’s airport currently offers international service to Guadalajara and Cabo San Lucas. American Airlines operated a Tokyo-SJC route from 1990 to 2006, and routes to Paris and Taipei for a short time in 2001.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

30 Comments

  1. I have heard San Jose is getting out of the golf business in favor of low income housing. I am not sure that San Jose will be a destination city for my countrymen.

    Perhaps the Yakusa are interested in this area. We have heard that Emperor Reed and Minister Figone in concert with other civic leaders have cut the police department which has allowed crime to flourish.

    Many thanks to the fat minister who fancies himself a wrestler. He provided entertainment for all at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

  2. Woo Hoo we have an international flight.  Thats filght not flights.  How about we restore the flights of SWA, United, American, etc.  Billion dollar airport and less flights.  Sounds like city hall logic.  Question….How much is the City of San Jose helping the airport with city funds?

    • I don’t know, WOW, but I do know that the City Council and administration are solidly behind the hopeless CA High Speed Rail project—another terrible, wasteful, Big Labor-driven enterprise that, if built, would even further detract from the economic viability of SJC.

      I still am constantly amazed at how San Jose manages to be on the wrong side of so many curves all at the same time.

    • The way I remember it they stuck on the international name to the San Jose Airporty when Mexicana Airlines had flights to Mexica.  Mexicana is defunct.  American had flight to Japan, but pulled out.

      The high spped rail thing is funny.  I voted against it.  If people take the train to Southern California, then I guess they are not going to use the airport.  The city will then claim that is why the airport has declined even more.

      I have been in this city since 1969 when I was 12.  Use to ride my bike around the airport.  Remember the houses under the flight path.  The politicians are always trying to make San Jose something it is not, and will never be.  Change the name of the airport 3 times, dump a bunch of money in it, and it is still the San Jose Airport.

      It is like BART.  I remember, I think in the 1970s when BART was under construction, we voted against extending BART to San Jose.  The politicians said we did not need it because this great VTA and light rail was going to be in the works.  Now we need BART to be a class city.

      • The “International” in SJC’s name now refers to Volaris and Alaska Airlines flights to Mexico. These will be joined with ANA’s new flights to NRT.

        I also voted against high speed rail, first and foremost because our deeply indebted state does NOT need any more bond debt. Somehow, the voters have been conned into thinking that “bond” = “free money.” It’s not, the bones have to be repaid.

        Since the high speed rail vote, the project’s credibility has vanished as impartial observers such as the state Legislative Analyst’s Office and UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies.

        As for the BART extension, it is a hugely expensive project that uses the wrong route that misses job centers in North San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Mountain View. Again, voters bought the unrealistic, rosy projections. By the time BART opens, everyone will forget the rosy projections. This happened in San Mateo County with the hugely expensive BART to SFO extension.

  3. Guardino said, adding a little jab at San Francisco’s airport. “Mineta San Jose International Airport is much closer to most Silicon Valley companies and their employees than the Bay Area’s other airports. It’s a waste of time to have world-class talent stuck in traffic inching up Highway 101 to SFO. SJC is easy access and leads the Bay Area and the nation in on-time departures and arrivals.”

    That has to be one of the stupidest statements of the year.

    • San Jose is designed to cater to 3 groups.
        – Freeloaders, whether they be homegrown or
        illegal.
        -Guardino’s “world class talent”.
        -Public servants.
      It’s the job of the rest of us to serve these superior classes and attend to their every need.

    • Guardino is a politician, nothing more, nothing less. If a politician were to have an original thought, it would surely die of loneliness.

    • “Why would anyone who lives in a real City come to San Jose ?…”

      Lots of reasons. I’ll start.

      … to get drunk and stupid downtown.  Once upon a time that won the wayward tourist a side trip to jail for DIP but Webby and Co at the Merc, reed and Scott knies ended that as they love drunk stupid people in DTSJ.

      …  to get rich speculating.on real estate. As lew Wolfe how.

      … to sell crack meth and heroine in Fountain Alley!

      … to buy weed wholesale at one of our many retail outlets . Walk out the door and sell it at a huge mark up !

      … to prostitute…

      …to pimp your stable

      …to pander to johns…

      … to beat and rob johns…

      … to buy pu$$y and or a$$.

      …to get beaten and robbed while participating in any of the above….

      Enough for now. Someone else’s turn…

  4. “The fundamental problem is that the Bay Area isn’t a big enough market for three major airports (SFO, SJC, OAK) to be successful.”

    Which is why it has only one MAJOR airport.

    • Yes, I’m with you, but that didn’t stop San Jose from carrying out its $1.3b supersizing of SJC, now did it? If that’s minor then I would hate to see your idea of major. I’ve lived right smack in central SJ for 12 years and when I fly it’s almost always out of SFO because that’s where the flights are.

  5. By the way, the dismal number of flights and carriers at SJC has nothing to do with “city hall logic”—whatever that is, if such a thing even exists.

    City Hall would love nothing more than to have jets stacked up from here to eternity. But the airlines mostly want to be at SFO, for a lot of reasons (gates, runway lengths, consolidated operations, cachet, etc.)—which draws more passenger share and sets up SFO as the go-to airport in the region in people’s minds, which in turn makes the airlines more interested in SFO, and on and on the positive-feedback loop continues.

    The fundamental problem is that the Bay Area isn’t a big enough market for three major airports (SFO, SJC, OAK) to be successful.

  6. Wondering asked “From a financial perspective, doesn’t the curfew get in the way of cargo taking off?”

    Not really. The major cargo operators, like Fedex and UPS time their flights to feed their Midwest cargo hubs. Accordingly, what’s left of SJC’s “cargo rush” leaves SJC just after 1900 or so. But compared to the late 1990s, there are fewer cargo departures now.

    SFO’s not very cargo-friendly, although you do see some freighters from Taiwan. Most cargo traffic goes to OAK, although you’ll see the odd AN-124 flying to Moffett to pick up a satellite every once in a while.

  7. I probably spend more time with the Japanese than I do my own people…

    That being said.. San Jose has a strong Japanese community (as strong, if not stronger than SF’s) Between Japantown, and the overall settling of Berryessa and Cupertino by the Japanese, you can bet those flights will be filled.

    • Robert
      I usually agree with you but you are delusional , stronger base than SF. NO WAY. getting rid of 2 golf courses to build MORE LOW INCOME HOUSING isnt going to encourage the Japanese to come to this cesspool

  8. San Jose screwed up and should have focused more on attracting cargo flights to San Jose and streamlined the process to move cargo into the regional supply chain. SFO is a horrible mess for cargo and many companies complain about the delay in moving cargo to Silicon Valley. Instead San Jose wanted passenger traffic and ignored the income from the various fees paid by cargo flights. I guess cargo isn’t sexy enough for San Jose.

      • “From a financial perspective, doesn’t the curfew get in the way of cargo taking off? “

        No.  The curfew only affects aircraft.

        Sorry.  Couldn’t resist.  Merry Xmas.

    • > Instead San Jose wanted passenger traffic and ignored the income from the various fees paid by cargo flights. I guess cargo isn’t sexy enough for San Jose.

      Well, by golly, San Jose isn’t going to miss the next opportunity.

      Recently, in this very forum, one of those creepy High Speed Rail zealots with the sketchy hygiene and glassy stare declared that the Hundred Billion Dollar choo choo would be just perfect for delivering small packages between San Francisco and LA.

      San Jose may have missed the air cargo boat, but it ain’t going to miss the High Speed freight train boat (if you will pardon a tragically mixed metaphor).

      • >one of those creepy High Speed Rail zealots with the sketchy hygiene and glassy stare declared that the Hundred Billion Dollar choo choo would be just perfect for delivering small packages between San Francisco and LA.

        I thought that creepy zealot was my brother.  I thought we already won this argument wreck.  Does my brother and I need to point out the obvious stuff again? Greyhound/All trains/All Planes offer express station to station parcel service.

        I’d rather see a 100 billion dollar choo choo that has 1000’s of miles of track, instead of a 100 million dollar, 2 mile extension of the LRT to eastridge.

  9. First off who cares SF airport is easier to use.  San Jose has these idiots in front of arrival and departure who scream at you if you stop your care.  Every time I have stopped to pick up someone i have some guy yelling at me to move.  you have to wonder exactly what they think happens at an airport when people get off a plane they need to get picked up ? Oh wait this is back wards San Jose. Dont forget they built the airport on a lake.  Ask the Airport manager how many gallons of water they pump out of the airport daily.  If not for the jet fuel in it you could drink it. 

    San Jose and Japan are different words.  Anyone who has been to Japan knows what I am saying.  Tokyo is a big city with everything a big city needs. San Jose is run buy short cited clowns who only care about stuffing their pockets with quick cash.  The United states Gov. needs to be replaced before any progress can be made.

    • ‘First off who cares SF airport is easier to use’ <-Already shows you are an idiot.
      That’s what they have the ‘Mobile parking lot’ for.
      SF has the lot that miles away, SJ has it steps from Terminal B
      SFO won’t even let you stop your car and peek inside for your relative. They are more aggressive giving out ticket. I more than once stepped out of my car and helped to carry luggage inside at SJ airport.

  10. It’s weird that too many negative comments on this page.
    Get a chill pill people. It would be better if I can fly from SJ. I’m sick of driving to SFO to fly or pick up my family.
    On the positive side, at least SJ is one of the best city with lower crime rate. How’s that to start?

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