Lufthansa lands deep in the heart of Texas

by Jerome Greer Chandler
October 11, 2018
LUfthansa flies to Austin
Lufthansa is the latest airline to fly to Austin, Texas. Photo: Lufthansa.

Like an irresistible magnet deep in the heart of Texas, Austin- Bergstrom International Airport just keeps attracting intercontinental nonstops.

The latest example is Lufthansa, the vaunted German flag carrier.

Lufthansa is set to start service May 3, 2019 when it deploys an Airbus A330-300 five days a week from Austin to the carriers’ megahub at Frankfurt (FRA).

From FRA, flyers can connect to a significant slice of Lufthansa’s far-flung route structure including Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

The five-times-per-week departures push back from the gate at Austin-Bergstrom at 4 pm and arrive Frankfurt at 9:05 the following morning. The FRA-AUS trip leaves the gate at 10 am and arrives Austin-Bergstrom at 2:05 pm. The aircraft is fitted out for 42 business class, 28 premium economy and 185 economy seats.

There’s going to be a lot of “O&D” (origin and destination) traffic on the trip—at least compared to Lufthansa’s Houston operations.

Lufthansa and United are Star Alliance partners. Bush Houston Intercontinental is a huge hub for United, the connecting traffic flow a natural. Dallas/Fort Worth is dominated by American Airlines, a oneworld carrier.

That means the ultimate success of Lufthansa’s Austin adventure is largely dependent on local central Texas demand.

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That demand for airline seats to Germany and beyond is fueled by the fact that Austin is a sort of “third coast” for high-tech companies. The University of Texas is another traffic generator for the United States’ 34th busiest airport in terms of passengers.

Austin is also the state capital and considered something of a cultural mecca in Texas.

Lufthansa joins a slew of recent airlines in flocking to Austin-Bergstrom.

Norwegian now flies AUS-London Gatwick, meaning London-bound passengers now have a choice of carries. British Airways has flown Boeing 787 Dreamliners from Austin to Heathrow for over a year.

Volaris just inaugurated Austin-Guadalajara, Mexico flights. Mexico City via AeroMexico is a significant addition.