Aug 4, 2022 - News

Nonstop flights from Austin to Asia could be on the horizon

A Korean Air plane.
Could Korean Air flights soon make an appearance at Austin's airport? Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Nonstop flights from Austin to Asia could be around the corner.

The big picture: Regional investments by South Korean chip manufacturers plus a steroidally-fast-growing airport spell potential direct service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Seoul or Tokyo.

What they're saying: "Asia makes sense," Matt Geske, vice president of regional and local policy for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce told the Austin Business Journal. "We have identified target areas for service and now we are looking to Asia."

  • The chamber has been pressing for nonstop flights to Asia since before the pandemic.

The crystal ball: Geske told the Journal a direct flight to Asia could be announced in 2023 or 2024.

Yes, but: "We regularly meet with airlines and are always working to attract new service," Austin airport spokesperson Sam Haynes tells Axios. "We don't have any news to share about nonstop flights to Asia at this time."

What's next: The city's airport expansion program aims to add a second concourse with at least 10 gates by the end of this decade — at a cost of at least $3.5 billion.

  • Total ABIA passenger traffic for June 2022 was 1,985,801, up 45% compared to June 2021.

The bottom line: With nonstop service now to Frankfurt, Amsterdam and London, the appetite among airport executives and business leaders for international service appears bottomless, as they try to attract more tourists and corporate investment.

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