AUSTIN (KXAN) – The longest flight out of Austin’s airport launched this week. You’ll now be able to fly direct from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to London on British Airways.
The non-stop service between ABIA and London Heathrow started Monday, with the first flight arriving in Austin just before 5 p.m.
“Direct international flights are always good. It’s more convenient,” said traveler Jason Quigley.
The transatlantic flight is the first of its kind for Austin. The non-stop flight to London is making travelers happy.
“It’s just less stressful. It’s just simpler. It makes the traveler experience much more pleasant,” said Martye Bradley.
To tout the flight, British Airways took KXAN behind the scenes to show the new plane, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. They have a set up at the Driskill Hotel downtown, with a cockpit simulator and replicas of what a business class seat looks like.
The plane seats up to 214 passengers.
Sean Doyle with British Airways says there’s interest in London–and throughout Britain and Europe–in traveling to Austin.
“Austin is a big market and it’s a growing market. It’s got a great start up scene here and it’s got a fantastic tourism proposition,” Doyle said.
Locally, business leaders say it’s pivotal for growth and sustainability.
“We do have extremely significant ties with the UK amongst our tech industry,” said Maggie Bishop with the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Bishop says the flight will have a $69 million impact on Austin in the first year and is expected to grow to more than $70 million after three years.
Right now, the flight between Austin and London is available five days a week. By May the airline says there will be daily flights.