Two European carriers this week started up new 787 Dreamliner flights to the Bay Area, including British Airways’ San Jose service and additional KLM frequencies to San Francisco International.
At Mineta San Jose International, the city’s mayor Sam Liccardo was on hand along with Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways parent International Airlines Group, to welcome the first flight of BA’s new 787-9 service from London Heathrow, which now operates daily from SJC’s Terminal B with an 8:05 p.m. departure time to LHR. The flight time is about 10 hours.
Because the BA 787-9 is larger than the 787-8, it has something the smaller plane doesn’t – a first class section, along with 42 Club World (business class) seats, 39 in premium economy and 127 in regular economy. (Here’s a video of BA’s new First suites, designed specifically for the 787-9.)
Mayor Liccardo said at the welcoming ceremonies that London has been “the number one requested international destination” from San Jose, and BA’s new service is the first ever on that route. It’s the British carrier’s fourth destination in California.
Airport officials noted that Silicon Valley-based companies have 428 locations throughout the UK, while U.K. firms have 118 locations in Silicon Valley. Passengers bound to Heathrow on BA can also connect to 130 destinations beyond London.
Meanwhile, KLM this week increased service between Amsterdam and San Francisco International from seven to nine flights a week with the addition of second frequencies on Wednesdays and Sundays for the summer season. Those two new flights (KL610, with a 4:45 p.m. departure from SFO on those days) feature the North American debut of KLM’s Dreamliner service. The other daily flights continue to use a 747-400.
Business class seats in the 306-passenger KLM 787-9 recline fully flat, and all offer direct aisle access and 16-inch video screens. Economy seats provide a 40 percent greater recline than previous models, and larger 11-inch screens for in-flight entertainment. The aircraft offers Wi-Fi throughout. The KLM 787 has 42 business class seats, 48 in Economy Comfort (with 35-inch pitch) and 216 in regular economy. Take a look at the plane here.
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