Virgin Atlantic is to axe its service to Austin, Texas early next year, blaming a lack of demand among corporate travellers.

The carrier began four-times-weekly flights between Heathrow and Austin in May 2022, and Business Traveller reviewed the Upper Class service on the route shortly after it launched.

Virgin subsequently announced plans to increase the route to daily in spring 2023, but the airline has now confirmed that the service will end on 7 January, 2024.

As our feature from last year reported, several big name tech firms have relocated to Austin in recent years, including Apple, Amazon and Tesla.

Austin: Wired city

But many firms in the sector have made significant cut backs, as Virgin’s CCO Juha Jarvinen explained:

“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, with corporate demand at 70 per cent of 2019 levels.

“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 move will leave British Airways as the sole airline operating nonstop flights between the UK and the capital of the US state of Texas.

It is understood that Virgin will use the slots freed up by the dropping of the Austin route to increase frequencies to Barbados, Dubai and Miami. As previously reported the carrier will also launch flights to Bengaluru and Sao Paulo next year.

Virgin Atlantic to launch routes to Bengaluru and Sao Paulo

What do you think of Virgin’s decision to drop flights to Austin? Take part in the discussion on our forum.