Virgin Atlantic to suspend Austin TXBack to Forum
As in often the case this news has emerged first in the USA.
Virgin Atlantic said today it will suspend its London to Austin TX route after January 7, 2024.
Juha Jarvinen, the airline’s CCO, says “demand in the Tech sector is not set to improve in the near term. Sadly we made the tough decision to withdraw services.”
However there is still some time to take this route before suspension and so I have posted a link to Hannah’s flight check made in June 2022 – soon after route launch.27 Oct 2023
The news is just starting to appear outside the USA.
It was first released in Austin TX. Kxan.com had the news earllier today but I find this site is blocked outside the USA.
What we know so far is that those LHR slots will be used for VS to expand its leisure routes.
For example, it’s believed that Miami will be served by x2 daily flights in summer 2024.
1 user thanked author for this post.27 Oct 2023
I’m in BLR at the moment and there’s been overall zero hype about this. If anything, it’s caused BA to crank up the billboard space in BLR advertising for everything from Diwali (major Hindu festival) to 2024 spring breaks.
Given Skyteam already has a strong enough presence in BLR with daily AF and KL, I really don’t see how VS will be super successful, esp as unlike AF and KL who have a European, Canadian and NA feed…VS only has NA feed that Bangalorians could use. Anyway good luck to them and most importantly, we needed to break the BA monopoly on the London route.27 Oct 2023
Wow I am really surprised at this news. There are still lots of companies setting up in the Austin metro area. We fly to Austin once or twice a year and have flown there once with VS. So now the flight options are an indirect flight or BA (who we are less than thrilled with price wise and experience wise). Looks like we will be flying indirectly possibly with Delta or a Delta/VS combo.27 Oct 2023
Trumpy: I’m not surprised by this news because VS has rarely managed to make routes stick in non alliance hubs – cue Chicago, Vancouver, HK and now Austin. They always find something else (usually AA-BA) to blame.
Which is why I’m also giving the BLR route 2 years before they axe it!29 Oct 2023
Demand must have become weaker.
I say that because VS had planned to reduce weekly flight frequency from four to three effective December 6.
But, according to Aeroroutes, the frequency reduction is effective from today.
BA is also reducing flight frequency but only during off-peak periods.
For example, instead of operating daily non-stop BA will operate six times a week from November 19 to November 29.
And for the period January 29 to February 11 BA will cut frequency to five weekly flights.29 Oct 2023
Totally, demand has gone down. During the pandemic, there was a major IT exodus to Austin from Silicon Valley and other west coast IT hubs. Austin was dubbed the silicon hills. But it grew too quickly and ran into the usual problems of higher cost of living, etc that thr IT companies stopped investing.
Having said all of that, I still stick to my hypothesis thar VS doesn’t do its homework properly, always seems to rush to new territories and cease after a couple of years. How soon before VS ends Tampa as well citing the same reason ?!29 Oct 2023
Whilst demand on this route has dropped, as Alex detailed even BA is reducing schedules, the fact remains IMO that the VS 767 Upper Class/J product is just not competitive now, indeed not sure if it ever has been. But versus the BA J product found on A350 for anyone knowing both hard products I think by far most would choose BA.
And on most VS routes where they have competition the product on 787 or A330-300 will not aid them.
I have said this before many times and think Virgin really should get more A330-900neo or even refurb the older A330s.
1 user thanked author for this post.30 Oct 2023