Lufthansa now serving Frankfurt, continental Europe and beyond from Silicon Valley


SAN JOSE, CA – Silicon Valley and Europe are now #MoreConnected with the launch of nonstop service today between Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) and Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) on Lufthansa.

San José Vice Mayor Rose Herrera joined with Lufthansa Group’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Chief Commercial Officer Jens Bischof, and city and business leaders to launch the first European carrier to offer nonstop flights from Silicon Valley to Germany, continental Europe and beyond.

“We are proud to celebrate the launch of nonstop service between San José and Frankfurt, two technological and economic powerhouses that generate incredible demand from both business and leisure travelers,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This flight will help promote trade, investment and economic growth in both of our high-tech regions. I thank Lufthansa for creating this direct connection from Silicon Valley to continental Europe.”

Greeting the first flight from Frankfurt
The inaugural flight was greeted by a water cannon salute performed by SJC’s Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting personnel who rescheduled the trucks’ water discharge test, which typically occurs every Sunday at SJC, to today.

Inaugural departure gate festivities

Invited guests and passengers waiting to board Lufthansa’s first flight at SJC’s Gate 15 enjoyed interactive games and activities which highlighted how the U.S. and Europe are now #MoreConnected through San José, the airline’s third California gateway.

With the July Fourth travel weekend underway, guests also enjoyed patriotic dishes from both the U.S. and Germany: hot dogs and bratwurst, American- and German-style potato salads, coleslaw and sauerkraut, and apple pie and German chocolate cake brownies.


Lufthansa is connecting the high-tech business and leisure travel hubs of Silicon Valley and Frankfurt using the Airbus A340-300. The aircraft seats 298 passengers in three seating classes: Business, Premium Economy and Economy. Cargo service is also available on all flights.

“San Jose is an emerging aviation market in the United States. Adding another California gateway to our already popular San Francisco route made complete sense due to the growing business environment in the region and the innovative spirit that is deeply entrenched in Silicon Valley, and which aligns with the Lufthansa Group’s brand values,” said Jürgen Siebenrock, Vice President, The Americas, Lufthansa Group. “Passengers traveling from this new gateway will now be able to experience the quality service and premium products Lufthansa offers, including our brand new Premium Economy Class that has 50 percent more legroom, a wider seat for comfort and relaxation, as well as an elevated experience overall.”

Flight Schedule

Lufthansa will operate the service five times per week. The flight schedule allows travelers in both Silicon Valley and Frankfurt to have enough time for business or leisure activities, and to get to or connect through both airports for departure:

Flight Number City Pair Departs Arrives
488 Frankfurt – San José 10:40 a.m. 1:40 p.m. (same day)
489 San José – Frankfurt 3:20 p.m. 11:35 a.m. (next day)

– Flights operate Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun. – Times are local.
– Average flight time is 12 hours.

– Passengers depart from SJC’s Terminal B and arrive to SJC’s International Arrivals facility.
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Demand for Lufthansa’s new flight to Frankfurt

Before the inaugural departure, remarks included those of Chris O’Connor, representing Silicon Valley Leadership Group which has provided private sector leadership in attracting Lufthansa and other international airlines to San José. Emceeing the event was Director of Aviation Kim Becker who warmly welcomed Bischof, Siebenrock and the entire Lufthansa team to San José. She highlighted the benefits of the nonstop flight, including bringing an estimated $130 million annually in economic investment to the San José area. “Frankfurt was ranked in the top five most requested international business destinations by Silicon Valley travelers in a corporate survey conducted by our community partners,” said Becker.

“Demand is fueled by Silicon Valley companies that have 324 locations throughout Germany, and major German carmakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen which have R&D facilities in Silicon Valley,” Becker continued. “Lufthansa’s convenient connections via Frankfurt to more than 100 European cities and several destinations in India are also a key factor driving growth.”

SJC’s growing list of international airlines and destinations
With Lufthansa’s new flight to Frankfurt, SJC now offers nonstop service to eight international destinations. The Airport has experienced significant growth in international routes over the past 12 months. Along with its airline partners, SJC has also launched or announced new service to these cities:

– Hainan Airlines to Beijing
– British Airways to London/Heathrow
– Air Canada to Vancouver (a pre-clearance airport to the U.S.), and
– Air China to Shanghai (begins September 1)

Other nonstop international service offered at SJC includes ANA to Tokyo/Narita; flights to Guadalajara on Alaska Airlines and Volaris; and Alaska service to Cabo San Lucas.