American Airlines said Tuesday that it will establish a West Coast hub at the San Jose airport. The hub, in which American will invest about $50 million, will open Dec. 2.
At the start, American will operate 86 flights from the hub daily to 19 cities. When it is fully operational in 1991, American and its commuter airline, American Eagle, will operate 175 flights a day from San Jose to 52 cities. By that time, the airline expects to employ 2,300 people at San Jose, including flight crews.
At present, American operates 59 flights a day from San Jose and employs 250 people there.
American will board more than 1.1 million passengers at San Jose this year and that the number will rise to 2.6 million by 1991, according to Joseph J. D'Ambrosio, the airline's Western division vice president.
American already operates five hubs, in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Chicago, Nashville, Tenn., Raleigh/Durham, N.C., and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The new hub will allow American to facilitate the connection of its mainly East-West route system with its newly acquired routes up and down the West Coast. Until the carrier acquired AirCal last year, most of its flights were from New York, Chicago and Dallas/Ft. Worth to the West Coast. But the new West Coast network stretches from the Canadian border to the Mexican border.
It had been reported earlier that American was planning to establish a hub in Northern California, with San Jose and San Francisco as the leading candidates.
A hub is an airport at which a large number of an airline's flights land and take off within a short period--usually 15 to 25 minutes. This kind of scheduling gives travelers quicker access to connections with flights to a much greater variety of destinations than would be possible without a hub operation.
Hubs also are money-savers for the airlines because they are able to concentrate their resources and operate with fewer aircraft.