British Airways launches nonstop service between San Jose and London

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- History was made at Mineta San Jose International Airport on Wednesday night. British Airways launched nonstop service between San Jose and London - the first of several nonstop international flights to be launched this year.

Nonstop service to London has been the number one request for quite some time and now it's finally here.

With Beatles music playing in the background, British Airways Flight 279 arrived at Mineta San Jose International.

It's the first time an airline has flown nonstop from London to San Jose.

Passengers on that maiden voyage gave it a big thumbs up.

"Not since the Beatles landed on the 'Ed Sullivan Show' has a British invasion had a bigger impact on the United States of America than today," Mayor Sam Liccardo said.

An overstatement, perhaps, but for Silicon Valley and London businesses, there's no doubt the new service is key.

Willie Walsh is the CEO of International Airlines Group, the parents company of British Airways.

With more than 400 Silicon Valley companies with offices in the U.K. and 118 British companies with offices in the Silicon Valley, the new route made sense.

"The London community, the high-tech community, has always wanted to have a direct flight to San Jose," Walsh said.

And now that it's here, passengers are giddy.

"At this time of day, to get to SFO? It's wonderful to have it out of San Jose," passenger Karen Habiger said.

London is the first of four nonstop international flights to launch from SJC this year.

Service to Vancouver launches on May 9 while service to Frankfurt and Shanghai launches in the summer.

But for now, it's British Airways that's getting all the attention.

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