The FINANCIAL — Sun-drenched Silicon Valley is to get a direct service to Heathrow when British Airways starts offering non-stop flights to San José in Summer 2016.
Fares to San José start from £599 return, during British Airways’ ‘Big British Take Off’.
San José is the world’s software power-house and home to household hi-tech giants such as Adobe, Apple, Cisco, eBay, Google and Intel, as well as thousands of tech start-up companies and world-famous Stanford University in nearby Palo Alto, according to British Airways.
British Airways will offer daily flights on the only service between Europe and San José, to the airline’s fourth Californian destination, after Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, on its brand new 787-9 Dreamliner, which features its very latest First cabin.
Customers can already fly daily to Los Angeles and San Francisco in comfort and style on British Airways’ super-jumbo, the A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
Stephen Humphreys, British Airways, head of global sales, said: “There’s no better place to fly the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft than to the world’s home of hi-tech and innovation, San José.
“Our new daily service will offer fantastic direct flights between Silicon Valley and London, with onward connections to scores of destinations around the globe on our extensive world-wide network.
“We’re sure this new service will prove just the business for Californian-based companies looking to expand into Europe and will strengthen London’s strong commercial ties with the West Coast. It also offers a brilliant starting point for visitors to nearby Carmel and Monterey on the rugged central coast along highway one, and easy access to the unrivalled splendour of Yosemite National Park.”
Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose, said: “San José and Silicon Valley tech companies have committed to Mineta San José International as being their airport of choice, and have expressed strong support for a direct flight to London for several years.
“British Airways’ announcement to launch services between San José and London Heathrow will be well received by both business and leisure travellers in our region.”
Kim Becker, Mineta San José International Airport’s director of aviation, said: “London is the number one requested international destination from Mineta San José International Airport, and we’re so pleased to share the news today that we have delivered this service to Silicon Valley businesses and residents.
“We warmly welcome British Airways and the innovative Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner to San José, and know our mutual customers will also enjoy SJC’s convenience, on-time performance, and technologically-advanced facilities and services.”
The new British Airways daily service starts on May 4, 2016. The BA279 will touch down in San José for the first time, just after 6pm in the evening, after a 10 hour 50 minute flight from Heathrow.
The airline’s 787-9 Dreamliner will offer eight seats in its new First cabin, 42 seats in Club World, 39 in World Traveller Plus and another 127 for those seated in World Traveller.
Return flights in First start from £3,675, from £2,900 in Club World, £899 in World Traveller Plus and £599 in World Traveller, including all taxes and charges.
The British Airways 787-9 Dreamliner, which will make its first commercial flight from Heathrow to Delhi in October, will be the most technologically advanced aircraft in British Airways’ fleet.
Lower pressurisation means the internal cabin air is less dry leaving customers feeling more refreshed with less jet lag and the aircraft’s smooth ride technology reduces the effect of turbulence.
Soothing mood lighting in every cabin gradually adjusts to reflect the time of day, while customers can gaze out of the biggest electronically dimmable windows in the sky, giving each of them a view of the horizon from every seat.
At 20ft longer than the 787-8 (of which there are eight in the airline’s fleet), the 787-9 makes room for British Airways’ brand new First cabin.
It offers eight exclusive seats (compared to the 14 seats* available on other British Airways long-haul aircraft) giving even more privacy to customers.
Redesigned to put comfort at the heart of the experience, each First suite is gently lit with ambient lighting and offers customers extra storage space, including room for shoes, handbags and personal items, a personal suiter for jackets and coats accessible from the seat, and a discreet charging point area next to their armrest.
The seat and in-flight entertainment console has also been updated with a new smartphone-like handset, from which customers can simultaneously watch one item, such as the moving map, while also watching a film, on the new fixed 23inch widescreen.
With a total of 42 787s destined to join British Airways, the aircraft is to become the mainstay of the airline’s long-haul fleet.