Direct flights from London to Austin 

18 April 2022  |  Travel News

Virgin Atlantic go head to head with British Airways launching direct flights from London Heathrow to Austin Texas 

In January 2022 Shai Weiss CEO at Virgin Atlantic, announced that from May 2022, Virgin Atlantic will be launching direct flights between Heathrow and Austin, Texas.

Shai Weiss CEO at Virgin Atlantic - Direct flights Austin

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British Airways were the sole provider of daily direct flights between London and Austin, after Norwegian Air Shuttle scrapped the route when the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

However, Virgin Atlantic is putting a stop to that.

They will introduce the direct route on 25/05/22 and fly four times a week including Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. With its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, the aircraft boasts 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic, and Light seats. The 4,915 mile flight takes 10hr 30min westbound and 8hr 55min eastbound.

· VS231 London to Austin departing 11:35AM arriving 4:05PM

· VS232 Austin to London departing 6:05PM arriving 9:00AM (+1 day)

Direct flights Austin

Photo of Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Lady Freedom) courtesy of Virgin Atlantic 

Is there room for another direct route?

The new route announcement came at a time when the US started to see a surge in travel, as a result of the US borders reopening to UK travellers in November 2021.

echo.bravo certainly noticed an increase in business travel to the US as colleagues could finally reunite. 

This is fantastic news for my clients as it provides a much needed alternative. The One World Group currently has a monopoly on direct flights which increases the costs. Let’s hope with the arrival of Virgin that this changes. 

If Virgin do decide to operate an Airbus A350 then they will corner the market with social spaces. The booth and the loft featured on the A350 is the perfect space for a business meeting. The loft is available to customers flying Upper Class and boasts a 32 inch TV. 

Direct flights Austin

Photo of a booth on board an Airbus A350, courtesy of Virgin Atlantic 

How’s business shaping up for Austin?

Elon Musk recently said that Austin is the “biggest boomtown” in the U.S. With affordable houses, no state income tax, and a booming job market with companies such as Google, Oracle, and Tesla moving in, it’s hard to argue. 

There are so many tech companies that Austin has been nicknamed Silicon Hills, a nickname for the cluster of high-tech companies in the Austin metropolitan area. Bumble and Yodel were also founded there.

Google HQ Austin - Direct flights Austin

Photo of inside Google HQ Austin, courtesy of The Business Journals

According to Sperling’s Best Places, job growth in Austin is expected to grow 47% in the next 10 years, which is higher than the US average of 33.5%. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Austin is actually ranked No. 2 of the country’s top labor markets. 

With these big names opening up offices in the area, C-suite staff are undoubtedly going to increase their international travel. So it’s no surprise Virgin Atlantic has added this route, making it the first new addition to their U.S network since 2015. 

In a recent interview with TPG, @HenryHarteveldt, Travel Industry Analyst said “this route is going to be heavily dependent on business travel”.

With business in Austin booming the way it is, we’re confident LHR to AUS is going to become an increasingly popular route.  

Things to do when your out of office is on!

◉ Sounds crazy but… Bat Watching in Austin. Starting in late March North America’s largest urban bat population calls Austin home. Head to the Congress Avenue Bridge to witness the bats fly out from beneath the bridge.

◉ Barton Springs is ideal for swimming all year round. A popular and beautiful 1,000 foot long natural limestone pool. Open Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8 am – 10 pm.

◉ Hike up Mount Bonnell. This Historic Landmark boasts spectacular views With an elevation of 775 feet.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the read, please get in touch if you have any questions. I look forward to getting you guys over to Austin in the near future.

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Thank you for reading,

Chris | Founder | echo.bravo