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Date: 2021-09-07 19:48:03
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SAN JOSE — Southwest Airlines is resuming flight connections between San Jose and Reno, city officials announced Tuesday, providing fresh evidence that the ailing travel sector is recovering from coronavirus-linked maladies.
Flights to Reno are slated to depart every day out of San Jose, although not at the same time of day.
“We are thrilled that our partner, Southwest Airlines, is resuming service between Reno-Tahoe and Silicon Valley,” said John Aitken, San Jose’s director of aviation.
In recent months, airlines have restored several nonstop flights to big U.S. cities. The resumed flights connect San Jose with New York City, Chicago and Boston.
Buoyed by an improving economy, more nonstop flights and a phaseout of COVID-linked business shutdowns, Silicon Valley’s airport has enjoyed a travel boom so far in 2021.
During July, about 818,300 passengers traveled through San Jose International Airport, up 8.2% from the roughly 756,100 who did so in June, according to official airport figures.
The turnaround is a welcome development after what happened in 2020 when lockdowns were in force for most of the year to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The July numbers represented a huge improvement from the numbers in July 2020, which was just a few months after local governments and the state issued stay-home orders. The July 2021 total is slightly more than triple the number for the same month last year.
However, the passenger volume in July 2021 hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels. The numbers were down 24.5% compared with the 1.08 million passenger trips through San Jose International in February 2020, which was the last month before the business shutdowns began.
Southwest’s San Jose-Reno flights resumed on Tuesday. The airline intends to use a Boeing 737 aircraft for the roughly one-hour flights.
The service suspension began in April 2020.
“Today’s return represents renewed access to the beautiful Sierra Nevada,” Aitken said. “We look forward to providing our customers with more service options in the future.”