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Oakland International Airport may add "San Francisco Bay" to name as it seeks more flights

Port of Oakland considering airport name change
Port of Oakland considering airport name change 00:36

OAKLAND – Officials at Oakland International Airport said they are considering a name change as it seeks to boost the number of passengers flying to and from the East Bay.

The Port of Oakland, which operates the airport, announced Friday a proposal to change the official name from "Metropolitan Oakland International Airport" to "San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport." Officials said the airport code OAK and its visual brand would not change.

Port Commission President Barbara Leslie said in a video that the change was prompted by a lack of "geographic awareness" among out-of-town visitors about where Oakland is located.

"We've found that over half of frequent international travelers and nearly a third of domestic travelers are unaware of OAK's amazing location, in the heart of Northern California, and the San Francisco Bay Area," Leslie said. "This means that flights to Oakland haven't performed as well as they could, leading to a loss of routes and making airlines reluctant to add new routes."

According to Craig Simon, the port's interim director of aviation, from July 2008 to Mar. 2024, the airport added 54 new routes, but 39 of those routes along with six preexisting destinations were lost.

"Market research and interviews with airline partners have shown that routes have not performed as well as they should have due to the lack of geographic awareness, making air carriers reluctant to sustain and add new routes in Oakland," said Simon.    

The commissioner said the change is needed to fulfill demands from local travelers for more direct flights to and from Oakland.

"Adding San Francisco Bay will improve travelers' geographic awareness of the airport and help us reach and succeed in new markets," Leslie went on to say.

Members of the Port Commission are expected to consider the name change at their upcoming meeting on Apr. 11.

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