The move comes following a recent review of its network, which determined that the technology-driven growth in the Texan capital is showing signs of slowing down.
Virgin Atlantic Cancels Austin Flights
According to a statement from a spokesperson representing the airline linked to Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic is discontinuing its Austin route due to a notable decrease in corporate demand, particularly in the technology sector.
International corporate travel demand from Austin has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels and is currently only at 70% of the demand witnessed in 2019, as reported by Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic is ending its service to Austin a mere year and a half after commencing the roughly 8,000 km flight from London.
At the launch of the route, the airline had expressed that Austin was a pivotal focus for its transatlantic expansion due to the city’s burgeoning reputation as a technology hub.
Despite the numerous “synergies” that Juha Jarvinen, the chief commercial officer of Virgin Atlantic, had highlighted when the route was introduced last year, he acknowledged defeat on Friday.
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving our customers in Austin and immersing ourselves in the vibrant music and culture of this city, but it appears that demand within the tech sector is not expected to rebound in the short term,” Jarvinen clarified.
“Regrettably, we have had to make the difficult decision to discontinue our services,” he added. “We would like to express our gratitude to everyone in Austin: our customers, staff, partners, and local authorities, for their support over the past 18 months.”
Get your Refund
Virgin Atlantic had been operating four flights per week to Austin as part of its joint venture with Delta Air Lines (DL). Passengers who have made reservations for next year will have the choice of a full refund or alternative rebooking options.
Following Virgin Atlantic’s exit, the sole non-stop flight between Austin and London will be provided by British Airways, which has been serving the city since 2014.
Virgin Atlantic will reallocate the capacity that became available after discontinuing its Austin service to introduce additional flights to Miami, Barbados, and Dubai.
These destinations are all experiencing strong customer demand for premium leisure travel.
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