Aviation News

Virgin Atlantic announces new flight to Austin, Texas

Virgin Atlantic has announced the addition of Austin, Texas to its network. Austin will be the first new destination for the airline in the United States since 2015.

Flights to Austin, Texas

Starting 25th May 2022, Virgin Atlantic will operate 4-flights-a-week between London Heathrow Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The flights will run with the following schedule:

  • London-Austin
  • Departure time: 11:35
  • Arrival time: 16:05
  • Flight time: 10 hours and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: VS231
  • Frequency: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • Austin-London
  • Departure time: 18:05
  • Arrival time: 09:00 (the next day)
  • Flight time: 8 hours and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: VS232
  • Frequency: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

These flights will be operated by Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner featuring 31 Upper Class seats (Business Class), 35 Premium Economy seats and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats.

Interestingly, Virgin Atlantic has scheduled the new flights to Austin within 1 hour of competitor British Airways’ Austin flight. British Airways, which resumed flights to Austin on 13th October 2021 for the first time in 17 months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, presently operates 4-weekly flights between London Heathrow and Austin, with flights increasing to daily from 22nd April 2022.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said:

We are incredibly excited to launch this new service to Austin, Texas. With an impressive food, arts and music scene, we know it’s a destination our customers will love to explore. The US has been our heartland for more than 37 years since our first flight to New York City in 1984. Since US borders opened to UK travellers on 8 November, it feels extra special to be launching new flying, especially to the fantastic city of Austin. There are so many synergies between Virgin Atlantic and the city of Austin. We love their philosophy and desire to celebrate local brands, businesses and communities and we cannot wait to welcome customers, both existing and new onboard, flying them safely to explore this fabulously quirky city.

Related: Southwest Airlines expands from Austin; reveals expanded Hawaii schedule

Austin is the fourth most populated city in the state of Texas, with 29 million residents and 7.7 million passengers travelling through the airport in 2019. The city is known as the “live music capital of the world” and is famed for its art and foodie scene as well as a wide range of outdoors activities. To capitalise on the increased leisure tourism to the region, Virgin Atlantic Holidays will be launching a holiday portfolio in Austin and throughout Texas including hotels and fly drive holidays.

Austin is also known as a growing tech hub with businesses such as Apple, Tesla, Facebook, IBM and Oracle all opening up bases, giving the city the nickname “Silicon Hills”. This booming region is a key focus for Virgin Atlantic and its expanded joint venture partners, with Delta Air Lines offering connections from Austin to 10 cities in the United States – Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Raleigh Durham and New York-JFK. KLM is also launching flights from Amsterdam to Austin on 28th March 2022, offering even more choice for customers both side of the Atlantic to connect between the US and Europe.

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Jacqueline Yaft , CEO, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, said:

We are thrilled to welcome Virgin Atlantic to Austin and Central Texas. This exciting new partnership helps meet our goals of continued recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and furthers our commitment to being the Gateway of Central Texas for both leisure and business travelers alike.

In addition to flying passengers, Virgin Atlantic will offer 20 tonnes of cargo capacity on each flight. This fast cargo service will offer new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as high-tech products and e-commerce between prime markets in the UK and US.

To give its customers more confidence in bookings tickets, Virgin Atlantic has extended its policy of unlimited free date and flight changes for new bookings, giving further flexibility to customers to support future travel plans. The updated flexible booking policy enables Virgin Atlantic passengers making a new holiday or flight-only booking for travel up to 31 December 2022, to make as many changes as necessary to their travel dates, origin or destination, with the change fees waived, as well as one free name change.

In addition, the rebooking horizon, the date by which rescheduled travel can be completed by, has been extended by eight months for all new and existing bookings – all the way until 31st December 2023 – giving a broader window of time to reschedule plans if needed. The improved flexible policy also applies to passengers who already have converted their booking to a voucher or hold an open ticket and will benefit passengers if their flight or holiday is subject to cancellation, in addition to their refund and voucher options.

Meanwhile, American Airlines recently announced that it will open a new Admirals Club at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Featured image by JetPhotos/Daniel Klein

What do you think of Virgin Atlantic launching flights to the city of Austin, Texas? Let me know in the comments section below.

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