Jan 11, 2022 - News

Virgin Atlantic announces London-Austin service

A A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 lands at London Heathrow Airport.
A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 lands at London Heathrow Airport in 2020. Photo: Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Austinites will soon have a new option for getting to London town.

Driving the news: Virgin Atlantic will fly four times a week nonstop to London starting May 25.

  • It's the airline's first new route from the U.S. since 2015.

The big picture: Consider this your daily reminder that Austin is no longer a hippie college town.

The 787-9 aircraft includes 31 upper class, 35 premium and 192 economy seats.

Keep calm and and chow down: Living vicariously, we checked out the Upper Class menu on Virgin's other U.S.-U.K. service.

  • Starters include a pear Waldorf salad with herbal "loverage leaves" and a smoked duck breast with a fennel and dill salad.
  • One of the mains is braised pork cheek with a cauliflower puree.
  • Pro tip: You'll definitely want to save room for the patisserie lemon posset ├ęclair, served 90 minutes before landing.

Of note: George Orwell once wrote that he was born into the "lower-upper-middle class," but as far as we can tell, that's not a seat designation on Virgin.

What they're saying: "This exciting new partnership helps meet our goals of continued recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and furthers our commitment to being the gateway of Central Texas for both leisure and business travelers alike," Austin airport CEO Jacqueline Yaft said.

  • "With an impressive food, arts and music scene, we know it's a destination our British customers will love to explore," Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, said.

Meanwhile: KLM will launch thrice-weekly service from Austin to Amsterdam in late March.

  • Or, as we like to think of it: Smoked brisket in the afternoon and fresh stroopwafel the next morning.
  • And British Airways already offers nonstop service between London and Austin.
  • You can also grab direct flights from Austin to Canada, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and The Bahamas.

Between the lines: The Virgin Atlantic service will also offer 20 tons of cargo capacity on each flight, providing another channel for high-tech products to zoom around the globe.

The bottom line: Fares on the Virgin flights start at $708 per person.

Or about 520 pounds, which sounds a little cheaper.

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