Air China’s on-again, off-again plans to fly out of Mineta San Jose International Airport are on again, but with a new starting date; and a low-cost Icelandic carrier brings new, cheap transatlantic options to San Francisco and Los Angeles this month.
Just last week we reported that Air China had scrapped its plans to begin new non-stop flights from Mineta San Jose to Shanghai, which had been announced for a June 16 inaugural. But now the Chinese carrier is back on board with that route. This time, Air China has pushed the new transpacific route back to a September 1 launch date. Air China plans to fly the route three days a week, using a two-class A330-200. Currently, roundtrip fares on AirChina.us for early September are about $1,500 in economy and $7,000 in business class.
The new service will be San Jose’s second China route following Hainan Airlines, debut of San Jose-Beijing flights last year. SJC also got new London non-stops from BA recently, and will welcome Lufthansa’s delayed SJC-Frankfurt service on July 1 with an A340-300.
San Jose will be Air China’s tenth U.S. gateway. The new flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with a 12:30 p.m. departure time from SJC. Air China is a member of United’s Star Alliance.
Meanwhile, Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW air (www.wowair.com) started flying out of San Francisco International this week, and will make its debut at Los Angeles International on June 15. The company first announced these plans back in January, when it started selling tickets on the new routes. ”Demand was instantaneous, with flights selling out within just 24 hours,” a spokesman said.
The carrier will fly from SFO to Reykjavik five days a week, and from LAX to Reykjavik four days a week, using single-class A330-300s that carry 350 passengers. From Reykjavik, passengers can connect to WOW air flights to 23 cities in Europe, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Copenhagen.
And how low is low-cost? WOW said its San Francisco-Reykjavik seats can be had for as little as $99 one-way (available on Thursday flights from late September through early December). Connecting flights to Europe start at $199.
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