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British Airways Has Carried Over 1 Million Austin Passengers

by Staff

Summary

  • British Airways carried more passengers to/from Austin in 2023 than any other year.
  • Virgin Atlantic ended its Austin route in January 2024, which will clearly benefit its key competitor.
  • Austin now has three long-haul airlines serving Europe.



British Airways‘ first flight to Austin was 10 years ago, on March 3, 2014. At the time, it was the Texas capital’s only long-haul service. Flights were initially operated by the 214-seat Boeing 787-8, although the route has also seen the 787-9, 777-200ER, 777-300ER, 747-400, and A350-1000. BA is offering BA-B-Q sauce and a Texas-inspired menu in March to celebrate.

BA and Virgin were against each other between May 2022 and January 2024. The SkyTeam member’s withdrawal will boost BA’s traffic, loads, yields, and overall performance.



BA to Austin: a summary

The 4,915-mile (7,909 km) route is served daily using the 331-seat A350-1000. These have 56 Club Suites, 56 seats in World Traveller Plus, and 219 in World Traveller. Besides BA’s A380s, the A350 is the carrier’s highest-capacity aircraft at Heathrow. (Its Gatwick-based and leisure-focused 777-200ERs have more seats than the A350.)

Photo: Danc47667 I Shutterstock

The route is presently scheduled as follows, with all times local. The times will change in the summer. It leaves at 12:10, just 10 minutes after the most popular US-bound departure time from Europe.

  • London Heathrow to Austin: BA191, 12:10-17:50 (10h 40m block)
  • Austin to London Heathrow: BA190, 20:00-10:10+1 (9h 10m)


Related

Feeling Sleepy? The Earliest Europe-US Flights This Summer

I recently researched and wrote about US-bound departure times.

2023 was a record year

The following figure charts BA’s capacity, traffic, and loads since Austin flights started in 2014. You will see that 2023 was the best year on record for passengers, with 191,181 roundtrip passengers carried (524 daily, excluding seasonality).

BA LHR-AUS development

Sources: Austin Airport, US DOT T-100, and Cirium. Figure: James Pearson

Seats for sale rose by 4% versus 2019, with the 777 then coexisting with the 747-400. However, passenger traffic only grew by 2%, reducing the seat load factor (SLF) by two percentage points to 80%. This says nothing about yields, including from competing directly with Virgin.

Related

The 28 Routes British Airways Is Operating From The USA This Summer

This was researched, written, and published in mid-February.

Where BA’s Austin passengers go

Examining booking data suggests more passengers connected to another flight in London than simply traveled between the two cities.

India was the leading country market, followed by Italy, the UK generally, Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, and Portugal.


More people flew BA between Austin and Mumbai than anywhere else, with four Indian cities making the top 10 origin-destination list. It is estimated that BA carried about 18,000 Austin-India passengers, almost a quarter of the total market.

BA AUS passengers 2023

Image: GCMap

Austin’s long-haul network

While BA was the only long-haul operator a decade ago, it is now one of three airlines providing such a service to three European airports, as summarized below:

  • BA to Heathrow: daily
  • KLM to Amsterdam: 3 weekly
  • Lufthansa to Frankfurt: 3 weekly in winter to 5 weekly in summer (not 4 weekly, as some people say)


The Texas capital has lost Condor from Frankfurt (2016-2018), Norwegian from Gatwick (2018-2020), and Virgin from Heathrow (2022-2024). Condor will begin Frankfurt-San Antonio on May 17, 2024, becoming that airport’s first long-haul service.

What other routes do you hope Austin secures? Let us know in the comment section.

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