International flights soar deep in the heart of Texas

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August 28, 2017
Condor at Austin-Bergstrom
A condor flight at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston still have a huge lead when it comes to international fights to the Lone Star State, but once-sleepy Austin is adding a slew of new routes.

From  March 27, 2018 low-fare Norwegian launches nonstop service from Austin-Bergstrom International (AUS) to London Gatwick.

This presages a  battle with British Airways, which already offers nonstop AUS – London Heathrow flights. Before BA’s flight you had to fly or drive 180-miles (289 km)  north to Dallas-Fort Worth, or 155-miles (249 km) southeast to Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport to catch a nonstop European flight.

Norwegian plans to fly 787s on the Gatwick run; BA already employs the long-legged, fuel-efficient Boeing on the route.

Meanwhile, German low-fare carrier Condor is adding a third weekly AUS – Frankfurt flight. The route’s being flown with a venerable 767-300ER, an aircraft that’s fading fast from passenger service around the world.

March also sees short-lived nonstop service from the Texas city to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The occasion is SXSW (South by Southwest), a cross-generational mecca that’s part conference, part film festival and all cutting-edge.

Delta will also use a 767-300 on the route and service is set for March 8, 9 and 14, 2018. It goes away after that.

There’s  also more service to Mexico City on

Aeromexico; flights on low-fare Volaris to Guadalajara, San Jose Del Cabo and Cancun on Southwest Airlinesp; and Air Canada to Toronto.

On the domestic scene,  Delta just started nonstop A319 flights from Austin to Seattle-Tacoma, one of Delta’s international gateways.  Along the East Coast,  Delta recently began nonstop Austin-Boston flights.

Ultra-low fare Frontier is doubling the number cities served from Austin to 16. New routes include Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio; New Orleans, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Ontario, California and San Jose, California. This latter destination is important for Austin businesses, further connecting the two centers of high-tech research and manufacturing.

As for the bigger picture, Austin-Bergstrom in May (the last full month for which figures were available) set a new passenger record with 1,217,824 flyers traveling through the former US Air Force base.