San Francisco International Airport had the highest rate of international passenger growth among US airports last year, and continues to add new international flights at a dizzying pace. And it’s not just SFO that’s growing– San Jose and Oakland are picking up new overseas flights, too.
This is most likely due to the strength of the Bay Area economy, and the need for better, faster access to the tech center of the universe.
According to the International Trade Administration, SFO posted a 9 percent increase in international travelers in 2015, ahead of other major international gateway airports such as New York-JFK, LAX, and Miami. Much of the increased traffic to SFO and elsewhere in the US is coming from China which grew a whopping 25% in 2015.
If you are having trouble keeping up with all the new flights coming to the Bay Area, here’s a rundown:
In 2015, SFO added the following new flights:
- April – Turkish Airlines launched nonstop B777 service to Istanbul
- May – Swiss International nearly doubled its nonstop service to Zurich
- June – China Southern began nonstop service to Guangzhou
- September – COPA launched with nonstop 737 service to Panama City
- December – Air India launched the first nonstop flight from U.S. West Coast to Delhi
- December – Qantas returned to SFO with B747 nonstop service to Sydney
In 2016, SFO keeps up the momentum:
- March – United Airlines begins nonstop service to Tel Aviv
- May – Air Berlin launches with nonstops to Düsseldorf, Germany
- May – United Airlines begins new nonstop flights to Xi’an, China (Plus there are rumors of a new United nonstop SFO to Hangzhou)
- June – United Airlines begins the first U.S. nonstop flight to Singapore
- June – WOW Air launches nonstop flights to Reykjavík, Iceland
- June – Fiji Airways inaugurates nonstop service to Nadi, Fiji
It’s not just SFO that is growing by leaps and bounds…so are other Bay Area airports. For example, San Jose International has recently snagged (or has pending) new 787-9 nonstops to London (British Airways), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), Beijing (Hainan) and Shanghai (Air China) in addition to its ANA nonstop service to Tokyo.
Oakland is on a growth spurt, too, with its major international carrier, Norwegian Air adding nonstops to London-Gatwick this June in addition to its flights to Stockholm, Sweden, and Oslo.
All this new competition is very good news for frequent flyers. That’s because more flights and more seats usually mean cheaper fares.
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