ANA 787 Inaugural Soars Out of San Jose

ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner Receives Water Cannon Salute

ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner Receives Water Cannon Salute

ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner Arrives in San Jose on a Perfect Day

The Boeing 787 has been getting a bad rap by the mainstream media, but All Nippon Airways couldn’t have asked for a better day in San Jose. Today, January 11, 2013, ANA’s inaugural Boeing 787 flight arrived early into Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) after an 8 and a half hour flight from Tokyo.

While the FAA is doing an investigation to address teething problems the 787 has encountered, the aircraft is safe to fly. In light of recent events, I wouldn’t be surprised if the mainstream media goes into breaking news for every minor problem – including “everyday glitches” that all airliners encounter. The Dreamliner is and will remain under the spotlight – the mainstream press tends to have a short memory when it comes to other new planes and teething problems.

Today, the ANA Dreamliner from Tokyo made a perfect touchdown at San Jose. A celebratory water cannon salute was conducted by the SJC Fire Department to recognize the special occasion. Festivities at the gate included a jazz band, the breaking of a sake barrel, otherwise known as Kagami-Wari, and a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Carl Guardino, CEO and President of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed met with ANA officials in Japan over two years ago to make the San Jose (SJC) – Tokyo Narita (NRT) flight a reality. Today the non-stop flight is here and other airlines are watching as ANA’s success in San Jose is likely to bring additional air service to the heart of Silicon Valley.

The mere fact the route is being flown with Boeing’s most innovative plane to-date, the state of the art Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is quite fitting for Silicon Valley, the US center of innovation and technology.

In addition to flying non-stop to Tokyo, ANA offers convenient connections to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, Taipei, and other destinations across the Asian continent. The new flight not only eliminates the need for the drive to San Francisco (SFO), but consumers can now fly out of an airport known for on-time operations opposed to one known for fog and delays.

Chairman of the ANA Board, Yoji Ohashi, and a number of officials were present including San Jose Mayor Reed, US Ambassador in Japan John Roos, the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco Hiroshi Inomata, and the former Secretary of Transportation, Norman Y. Mineta, which the airport is named after. Mineta was also a previous San Jose Mayor and Congressman on the commerce committee.

During the festivities, Norman Y. Mineta even joked about flying home to his airport.

San Jose Mayor Reed, Secretary Mineta, and ANA Chairman Yoji Ohashi after Kagami-Wari

San Jose Mayor Reed, Secretary Mineta, and ANA Chairman Yoji Ohashi after Kagami-Wari

In front of a large crowd including passengers and journalists, Mayor Reed announced, “We are pleased to launch ANA’s new direct service between Tokyo and San Jose Today.” Reed continued, “Whether on business or visiting friends and family, Silicon Valley residents will find that ANA’s new flight offers a convenient connection to Japan and the Pacific Rim.” Reed encouraged Silicon Valley residents to not only enjoy the luxury of the 787 Dreamliner, but to experience the comfort, efficiency and ease of flying out of San Jose’s state of the art airport.

There’s high demand in San Jose for the route combined with hundreds of technology businesses, several Japanese, within a 12 mile radius of the airport.

The ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner

ANA was the launch customer for the 787 Dreamliner, the first aircraft built mainly from carbon fiber composite material. Between the quiet engines and fuel efficiency, the 787 is a good neighbor. As I witnessed the ANA 787 Dreamliner depart from the tarmac today, I was surprised at just how quiet the aircraft was.

ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner Inaugural Departs San Jose On-Time

ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner Inaugural Departs San Jose On-Time

The inaugural was a great success for ANA, Silicon Valley, and everyone involved. Tomorrow I’ll have the opportunity to fly on the 787 Dreamliner tomorrow non-stop to Tokyo. I’ll provide my take on the Dreamliner and ANA’s services, but when it comes to other passengers, the 787 has been a grand slam at ANA.

In a survey conducted among consumers on the Tokyo-Haneda (HND) to Frankfurt (FRA) route, one of the initial 787 markets, nine out of ten passengers said the Boeing 787 Dreamliner met or exceeded their expectations. In addition to San Jose, ANA also operates non-stop flights between Seattle (SEA) and Tokyo Narita (NRT) with the 787 Dreamliner.

Frequent Flyer’s at ANA indicated the air pressure and humidity, combined with large windows and electric shades, set the airliner apart from others. As the cabin is pressurized at 6,000 ft above sea level, it’s easier for passengers to sleep and flight attendants have remarked they don’t tire as easily. Over 25% of those polled indicated they’d even go out of their way to fly this specific aircraft model again on future flights.

The new flight operates five days a week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The San Jose (SJC) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) flight departs at 11:45am and arrives at Narita (NRT) 4:10pm the next day. The return departs Tokyo Narita (NRT) at 5:35pm and arrives back into San Jose (SJC) at 10:10am the same day, compliments of the international date line.

While San Jose does not have Global Entry, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is efficient at processing passengers at San Jose International Airport. However, it is expected San Jose will receive Global Entry with the new ANA flight.

It can now officially be said, ANA knows the way to San Jose.

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