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British Airways announces new Silicon Valley service

British Airways will launch new service to San Jose International airport from London Heathrow in May 2016.

The Oneworld alliance carrier will offer once daily service to the Silicon Valley airport on a 208-seat Boeing 787-9 from 4 May 2016, it says.

“We want to give the business community in and around Silicon Valley more options to access the UK and Europe, quickly and easily,” says Simon Brooks, senior vice-president for North America at BA, in a statement. “Choice and flexibility when flying are critical for our Bay area customers so we believe this new service will be a welcome addition to our network.”

The new route complements BA’s existing service to San Francisco International airport from London Heathrow.

The flight is San Jose’s first nonstop to London, which it told Airline Business was a top air service development priority in 2013. American Airlines flew to Paris Charles de Gaulle from the airport for a brief time in the 1990s.

San Jose regained nonstop service to Tokyo Narita when All Nippon Airways began flights in July 2013 and its first-ever nonstop service to Beijing on Hainan Airlines this June.

BA’s new flight fits the strategy outlined by Willie Walsh, chief executive of its parent International Airlines Group (IAG), who said in 2014 that the airline was looking to expand to second-tier US cities that were American and US Airways strongholds.

San Jose was a hub for American from 1988 to 1993 and again a focus city for the mainline carrier after its acquisition of Reno Air in 1999. It began downsizing its operations at the airport following the 11 September 2001 attacks.

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