Edited by: Stella Shon
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After launching nonstop flights between London and Austin, Texas, in May 2022, Virgin Atlantic will end the route early next year.
Virgin’s final nonstop departure from Austin (AUS) will take off on January 7, 2024, and will land at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) the next morning.
Here’s what you need to know about this unfortunate development for the Texan capital city.
Virgin Atlantic Suspending Flights Between Austin and London
Virgin Atlantic cited a lack of corporate travel demand as the primary reason for the withdrawal from Austin, per reporting by One Mile at a Time. A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson noted that the airline is seeing demand for corporate travel — particularly in the tech sector — at “70% of 2019 levels,” which is likely insufficient to sustain the nonstop service.
After Virgin Atlantic ends flights to Austin, it will use the freed-up aircraft to increase service on the following routes:
- Flights to Barbados (BGI) will increase from 11x weekly to 14x weekly between January 10 and March 29, 2024
- Flights to Miami (MIA) will increase from 11x weekly to 14x weekly throughout the summer of 2024
- Flights to Dubai (DXB) will increase from 4x to 7x weekly in the winter of 2024 and 2025
Take a look at our guide to Virgin Atlantic’s nonstop routes to the U.S., which includes the plane types and seats you can expect on each route.
Austin’s Remaining European Service
Virgin Atlantic’s departure from Austin is sure to be a bummer for the city’s residents, though Austinites will still have several ways to get to Europe without a connection.
Virgin Atlantic’s principal competitor, British Airways, maintains daily nonstop flights to London Heathrow. Elsewhere, Dutch flag carrier KLM offers 3 weekly flights to Amsterdam (AMS), and German flag carrier Lufthansa offers 3 weekly flights to Frankfurt (FRA).
It’s safe to assume the city will see new European service in the future, though it’s unclear at this point when that will come, as there’s been a slight slowdown in the growth of the city, which is the main reason behind it attracting nonstop flights to Europe in the first place.
Unfortunately, Virgin Atlantic will end nonstop service between Austin and London just 18 months after it was launched. The route seems to be a victim of weaker-than-expected demand on the corporate side, and it perhaps faced a disadvantage when compared to hometown rival British Airways, which offers daily nonstop service between the 2 cities.
While Virgin isn’t launching a new route to take the place of the soon-to-end Austin service, it’s good to see some other popular routes across the network receiving additional flights.
Featured Image Credit: Cerib / Adobe Stock
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