I think for SJC to really give SFO a run for its money they have to convince one of the big 3 US carriers to operate there at least on a focus city level. This would likely be American. With a big 3 US carrier and Alaska there, international carriers would be much more incentivized to go to SJC as now they would be able to pick up a decent amount of feed instead of mostly relying on O&D traffic. I honestly believe this is the key for SJC to really take things to the next level.
Nah, I don't see AA trying a focus city or hub at SJC yet again. The relationship with AS has cooled dramatically and SJC just isn't a valuable enough market for AA to either try to split it with WN & AS, or try to force one of them out of the key dense markets. AA doesn't need a West Coast hub at SJC because they're already committed to one at LAX (Los Angeles - USA) (Los Angeles - USA).
My hope, which may be showing signs of happening now, is that SJC can reach a critical mass of flight options that shift enough traffic from the 800 pound gorilla airport (SFO) that will support a larger base of passengers at SJC to sustain better service.
Yep, critical mass is the key problem. I'm just not sure the niche is large enough for most airlines to bother when the marginal value of another flight (more attractive schedule, better economies of scale) at SFO might be better.
My comment was to say that is what I believe would need to happen at SJC for it to really reach "critical mass". I didn't say it was likely to happen though. United has a hub at SFO & LAX (Los Angeles - USA), Delta at SEA & LAX (Los Angeles - USA). Not unreasonable to assume some day if the stars align properly AA could have another West Coast hub.
I hear what you are saying. I also doubt AA would return to the regional hub idea that they’ve already tried and abandoned. Also, hubs seem to be de-emphasized in favor of focus cities and perhaps more importantly point-to-point non stops with especially regional jets.
That being said, if one or more carriers decided to take a chance on building up SJC, then that might be the thing hat creates the critical mas to break the virtual monopoly that SFO has on the Bay Area.
AS seems committed to building SJC as a focus city. Perhaps that, combined with the various international carriers who are so far taking chances and seem to be willing to stick it out with the current nonstop international flights, might do the job in absence of one of the Big 3 jumping in with a hub?
While SJC is unlikely to regain hub status with any airline, its selling points to O/D traffic are convenience and proximity. It’s pretty easy to get in and out of SJC, and there are well over a million people and many companies located closer to SJC.