[Skip to Content]
Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Volaris endorse plans for

Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Volaris endorse plans for “San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport”

Press Releases
April 9th, 2024

Oakland, Calif. - April 9, 2024: The Port of Oakland's announcement that it will consider modifying the airport’s name has the strong support of its major airlines, including Southwest Airlines, Volaris, and Spirit Airlines.

By modifying its formal name to the “San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport” from its current official name, the “Metropolitan Oakland International Airport,” the airport is working to preserve and protect the more than 30,000 jobs it creates, along with its $1.6 billion in economic impact throughout Oakland and the region. The proposed name clarifies where OAK is actually located, which is on the San Francisco Bay, and improves the geographic awareness of OAK among inbound travelers to the region. This will support increased competition and a wider choice of national and international direct flight destinations for Bay Area residents. A single new airline route and destination into OAK can create tens of millions of dollars of positive economic impact and support for local workers and businesses through increased visitor spending and related airport activity.

The OAK proposal has strong support from major airlines, including its largest air carrier Southwest Airlines, which arrived at OAK 35 years ago.

“Oakland helped put us on the map in California and we’re wholeheartedly supportive of this rebranding that acknowledges OAK’s economic position and influence in the San Francisco Bay area while staying true to its Oakland roots,” said Jennifer Bridie, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Southwest Airlines. “With a more relevant and contemporary naming convention, Oakland’s international airfield sitting closest both to major population centers and a density of corporate employers has a newfound regional draw and instantly gains even more visibility among those around the world shopping for air travel to the Bay Area.”

OAK’s largest international carrier, Mexican airline Volaris, also throws its support to the proposed name modification.

“Volaris recognizes the significance of Oakland Airport's geographical location within the vibrant tapestry of the Bay Area. Our support for the proposed name change reflects our commitment to clarity and accessibility for travelers navigating this dynamic region,” said Volaris Executive Vice President Holger Blankenstein. “We support efforts to make the Oakland Airport more identifiable within the vibrant San Francisco Bay region. We commend the proposal to rename OAK to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport, aligning its identity with the iconic Bay Area it serves."

As the airport’s second largest carrier, Spirit Airlines says it is proud to have a long history of serving OAK.

“We fully support the Board of Port Commissioners’ proposal to rename the airport in a way that highlights its proximity to San Francisco while staying true to its Oakland heritage,” said John Kirby, Spirit’s Vice President of Network Planning. “We believe this change will help our Guests better understand their options to reach the Bay Area with our affordable flights and explore everything the region has to offer.”

According to the Port, half of frequent international travelers and nearly one-third of domestic travelers are unaware of OAK’s location in the San Francisco Bay Area and proximity to the region’s top destinations. OAK is also the closest airport to nearly 60 percent of the Bay Area’s residents, with 3 of the region’s 5 largest employers also located in the East Bay.

The Port Commissioners will consider the name modification of the airport at their April 11, 2024, Port Board meeting. Once the Port Commission has considered the name modification and taken an action, staff will move forward with the formal renaming, including working with air carriers, other airports, and local agencies to reflect the modification in airport and airline systems.

The airport code OAK and visual brand will not change.

 

About the Port of Oakland

The Port of Oakland generates vital economic activity, community benefits and environmental innovation, as the Port decarbonizes its operations for a cleaner and greener future. Along with its partners, the Port supports 98,345 jobs in the region and $174 billion in annual economic activity. The Port oversees San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport, the Oakland Seaport and nearly 20 miles of waterfront including Jack London Square, and a publicly owned utility. The Port of Oakland is Everyone’s Port! Connect with the Port of Oakland and San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport through Facebook and Twitter, or with the Port on LinkedIn, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

 

Media Contacts

Kaley Skantz
Port of Oakland
Airport Spokesperson/PIO
[email protected]

Click here to access the OAK media on-site request form.

Robert Bernardo
Port of Oakland
Director of Communications
[email protected]

###