San Jose’s Mineta International continues to post solid growth even as some long haul service ends

San Jose Mineta International is enjoying a record period of growth and the airport has recently earned the distinction of as one of the fastest growing mid-size airports in North America. But the airport is experiencing some ebbs and flows during 2018 as Air China and Lufthansa have ended service to Shanghai and Frankfurt.


Summary:

  • San Jose Mineta International recently earned the distinction of as one of the fastest growing mid-size airports in North America;
  • Traffic levels at the airport have been growing steadily during the past eight years and in 2017 jumped +15.6% to 12.5 million  – the highest levels in nine years;
  • For the first nine months of 2018 the airport posted a +16.4% passenger growth, but has lost some key routes, notably Air China to Shanghai and Lufthansa to Frankfurt.

Even as some long haul flights from the airport are disappearing, San Jose is enjoying growth both domestically and in near international markets as well as expanded service to New York JFK, one of the airport’s key US transcontinental routes.

Passenger levels at the airport have been growing steadily during the past eight years. In 2017 San Jose’s passenger levels jumped 15.6% to 12.5 million – the highest levels in nine years. For the 9M ending Sep-2018 the airport posted +16.4% passenger growth, which bodes well for the airport potentially surpassing 2017’s passenger levels.

CHART – San Jose Mineta International witnessed a stepped growth in year-on-year passenger demand in 2016 and is on track to report another decade high growth in 2018Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and San Jose Mineta International Airport

CAPA – Centre for Aviation’s partner OAG recently ranked San Jose as the third fastest growing medium sized airport (between three million and 20 million departing seats) in North America, behind Cincinnati and Austin. OAG has calculated that for the 12M from May-2017 to Apr-2018 San Jose’s seats grew +15% year-on-year.

Southwest Airlines is San Jose’s largest airline measured by seats, holding a 50% share as of early Nov-2018. During the past year Southwest has added flights from San Jose to Orlando International, Albuquerque, Boise, New Orleans, Houston Hobby, St Louis and Spokane, as well as international service to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The airline is starting service between San Jose and Tucson in Nov-2018 and is planning to launch new service to Hawaii from the airport in 2019.

CHART – Southwest Airlines is San Jose’s largest airline measured by seats, holding a 50% share as of early Nov-2018Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation and OAG (data: w/c 05-Nov-2018)

San Jose has also welcomed new international flights from Aeromexico to Mexico City, and in Nov-2018 the Mexican ULCC Volaris is adding flights to San Jose from Guanajuato, Mexico. Volaris’ codeshare partner and fellow ULCC Frontier Airlines has added flights from San Jose to Austin, Cincinnati, Tulsa, and San Antonio during the past year.

The airport has also added more service to New York JFK from Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Alaska’s service to JFK is the only daytime flight offered from the airport to New York – which San Jose says is the number one requested destination by business and leisure travellers in the Silicon Valley.

Although the loss of service to Frankfurt and Shanghai is disappointing, the continued growth of domestic airlines in San Jose should continue to sustain the airport’s solid passenger growth.