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Virgin Atlantic will stop flying between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) on January 7th. The route only commenced in May 2022, but soft business travel is making Virgin pull this one from its network.
The airline reported that demand from corporate travelers has fallen to 70% of what it was in 2019. The tech sector has been hit particularly hard and Austin is a hub for technology.
Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, Juha Järvinen, said:
We’ve adored flying our customers to Austin and experiencing this wonderful city of music and culture, but demand in the tech sector is not set to improve in the near term. Therefore, sadly we made the tough decision to withdraw services. We’d like to thank everyone in Austin – our customers, teams, partners and the authorities – for their support over the past 18 months.”
The Boeing 787 that was used for the flights will be redeployed to serve these routes:
- London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) will see three additional weekly flights, which means the route will run 14x weekly between January 10th and March 29th.
- London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Miami International Airport (MIA) will also see three more flights next summer. This brings the total to 14x weekly.
- Winter flights between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) will increase from 4x weekly to daily for winter 2024/2025.
Anthony’s Take: Austin has not fully rebounded from the pandemic, so this move makes sense. I wish Virgin Atlantic would start flying to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) as I have been wanting to try them for some time.
(Image Credits: Virgin Atlantic.)
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