Until recently San Diego International Airport could glumly admit to being the gateway to the largest U.S. market without nonstop service to Asia, and the only major West Coast city never to have had direct flights to Japan. The problem has been the airport's 9,400-ft.-long runway. Though capable of supporting nonstop Boeing 777 direct eastbound service to the U.K., Runway 9/27 is too restrictive for longer-haul westbound operations flying against headwinds across the Pacific. ...

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