Thursday, March 16, 2017
Oakland airport launches new international flight
By Annie Sciacca
East Bay (CA) Times
Michael Colbruno, president of the board of commissioners for the Port of Oakland, speaks during a press conference at the Oakland Aviation Museum in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016. British Airways is launching a new service from Oakland International Airport to Gatwick Airport in London, England starting March 28.
OAKLAND — Oakland International Airport will launch a second service to London this month, bringing its total number of routes to 62, a record for the 90-year-old airport.
The new flight from British Airways will connect London Gatwick with Oakland four days per week, starting March 28. The flights will each hold 275 customers using three-cabin Boeing 777-200LR aircrafts.
The new service will make British Airways the only European airline to operate from all three Bay Area airports — the carrier also operates from San Jose’s Mineta Airport and San Francisco International Airport. The move makes British Airways the second carrier to provide nonstop flights from Oakland to London, after Norwegian Air launched direct flights to London Gatwick from Oakland last year.
“As (Oakland International) continues to grow in passengers and destinations, this new transatlantic service to the top European destination reflects the increasing opportunities and convenience now available for travelers to and from the entire Bay Area region,” said airport director Bryant Francis in a news release.
The flight also marks the expansion of Oakland’s international flight options, and a big increase in new routes in recent years. This year, the airport has several new and expanded routes slated to begin, including flights to Copenhagen, Baltimore, Detroit, Newark/New York and Barcelona. New service began in February to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, Mexico, Southwest’s first international flights from the Bay Area.
The Oakland airport has been boosted by an increase in international and domestic travel to the East Bay. The airport has been working on a $35 million expansion to its international arrivals building that will double international flight capacity and recently unveiled a new passenger lounge to serve its growing number of travelers. There is also the ongoing $200 million renovation of Terminal 1, which was started in 2008 to update and modernize the airport.