Tennesseans will soon be able to fly direct to the Bay Area. Southwest announced this morning it will launch a nonstop daily route to Oakland, California, in June.
Technology leaders in Nashville have long bemoaned the fact that there’s no direct flight near Silicon Valley. Part of the reason it’s finally happening, says Trudy Carson with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, is because businesses like healthcare tech company Emdeon have promised to frequent the Southwest route.
“Our business community said they really, really want that flight, and they’re going to mandate their employees to take that flight,” she says. “So that’s a big positive for the airline — you’re handing them service.”
Another incentive for Southwest, Carson says: Nashville business and tourism leaders — including the Chamber of Commerce, the mayor’s office and Launch Tennessee — will be marketing this flight, both in Tennessee and in Oakland.
Starting June 7, the route will leave Nashville around 2 p.m. and leave Oakland around 11 a.m. These times were chosen in part so that business employees could get to their destination by dinner, Carson says.
Southwest is expecting about 120 customers to fly out of Nashville to Oakland each day, according to senior manager David Doty. The airline currently makes up nearly half of Nashville airport’s flights.