American Airlines is joining the Austin, Texas craze with a 10-route expansion to the latest tech boomtown

·6 min read
American Airlines
An American airlines aircraft. AP
  • American Airlines is growing and expanding 10 routes from Austin, Texas, just south of its Dallas hub.

  • The point-to-point routes completely bypass American's hubs and offer more convenient non-stop options.

  • Major corporations have moved to Austin in recent years as part of an exodus from California.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

American Airlines is preparing for the summer of vaccinated travel and has its sights set on Texas, but not its usual Dallas hub.

Austin, Texas is receiving 10 routes this spring and summer aimed at increased leisure flyers and the hopeful return of business travel. The Texas capital city has been the preferred destination of technology exodus from California and Silicon Valley, including Elon Musk's Tesla, opening a new market of well-to-do leisure and business travelers for airlines.

"It's going to be the biggest boomtown that America has seen in 50 years, at least - megaboom," Musk said in an interview with Joe Rogan.

Austinites can already catch a non-stop flight to most of American's hubs but they'll now be able to fly directly to where they want to go. Most flights to the destinations in this expansion would've required a connection in Dallas, Charlotte, Chicago, Phoenix or Miami, for example.

Austin's popularity has been increasing with airlines in past few years as the city grew into the Silicon Valley of Texas, now known as the "Silicon Hills." Delta Air Lines considers Austin a focus city while low-cost and ultra-low-cost airlines like Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and Allegiant Air have also built bases in the city.

Foreign carriers had also been flocking to Austin before the pandemic crippled international travel. British Airways, Lufthansa, and KLM Royal Dutch had launched or planned flights between Austin and major European cities like London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam.

Here's where American Airlines is flying from Austin later this year.

Between Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee. f11photo/Shutterstock

American will launch flights between Austin and Nashville, Tennessee on May 6. The new service will start as once daily, with a morning flight from Nashville to Austin and afternoon return flight, and increase to twice daily service with a morning and evening flight in each direction on July 2.

Southwest Airlines will be American's primary competition on the route, offering as many as four daily round-trips between the two cities on its Boeing 737 aircraft. Spirit Airlines offered flights on the route in 2020 but hasn't yet announced a return for 2021.

American's will be operated by Embraer E175 regional aircraft from Republic Airways.

Between Austin, Texas and Las Vegas

Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider

American will launch flights between Austin and Las Vegas on May 6. The new service will start as once daily with a morning flight from Las Vegas to Austin and an evening return flight.

On June 3, the route will see two daily flights with afternoon and evening flights to Las Vegas complemented by morning and afternoon flights to Austin. Flights will operate with American's Boeing 737 mainline aircraft.

American will see more competition on this route as Southwest, Spirit, Allegiant, and Frontier Airlines offer a mix of low-cost and ultra-low-cost flights between the two cities.

Between Austin, Texas and Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida. Javier Cruz Acosta/Shutterstock

American will launch daily flights between Austin and Orlando, Florida on May 6, upgrading the route from its current once-weekly status. The daily route will see an afternoon departure from Austin accompanied by a late afternoon return from Orlando.

Flights will be operated on American's Boeing 737 aircraft, an upgrade from the Embraer E175 regional aircraft currently used on the Saturday-only service.

Another popular route from Austin, American will see competition from JetBlue Airways, Southwest, Spirit, and Frontier. Allegiant Air also offers flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport north of the city.

Between Austin, Texas and New Orleans

new orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

American will launch flights between Austin and New Orleans on May 6. The new once-daily service will see a morning flight from New Orleans to Austin complemented by an afternoon flight from Austin to New Orleans.

Flights will be operated by Embraer E175 regional aircraft from Republic Airways. Only two other airlines serve the route including Spirit and Southwest.

Between Austin, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh
Raleigh, North Carolina. Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

American will launch flights between Austin and Raleigh, North Carolina on July 2. The new service will start as once daily with a morning flight from Austin to Raleigh and an afternoon return flight.

On August 17, flights are increased to twice daily with a late afternoon flight from Austin to Raleigh accompanied by an evening return flight. Flights will be operated by American's Embraer E175 regional aircraft from Republic Airways.

American will see competition from JetBlue, Delta, and Southwest on this business traveler-heavy route. From Raleigh, however, American flyers could also get as far as London in pre-pandemic times as the airline operated a daily flight to the UK capital.

Between Austin, Texas and Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida. Kevin J King/Shutterstock

American will launch flights between Austin and Tampa, Florida on June 3. The new service will start as once daily with a late afternoon flight from Austin to Tampa and an evening return flight.

Two airlines offer competition on the route as Frontier and Southwest already fly between the two cities. American's flights will operate with Airbus A319 aircraft.

Between Austin, Texas and Washington, DC

Washington DC
Washington, DC. Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

American will launch flights between Austin and Washington, DC on August 17. The new service will utilize Washington Dulles International Airport and start with twice-daily flights right off the bat.

A morning and afternoon flight will be offered from Austin to Washington while an afternoon and evening flight will be offered in the opposite direction. Flights will be operated using American's Airbus A319 aircraft.

United Airlines is American's primary competition on the route as Washington is a United hub. Southwest also offers flights between Austin and Washington via Ronald Reagan National Airport, the airport closest to downtown.

Between Austin, Texas and Aspen, Colorado

Aspen Colorado
Aspen, Colorado. Shutterstock.com

American will launch flights between Austin and Aspen, Colorado on June 5 with Saturday-only flights through September 4. A morning flight will be offered in both directions operated by Bombardier CRJ700 regional aircraft from SkyWest Airlines.

Those not wanting to travel to or from Aspen on any other day of the week can connect in American's Chicago or Dallas hubs. No other airlines currently serve this route, leaving American with no direct competition.

Between Austin, Texas and Los Cabos, Mexico

Los Cabos Mexico
Los Cabos, Mexico. Shutterstock.com

American will continue flights between Austin and Los Cabos, Mexico from June 5 to August 14 with Saturday-only service. A morning flight will be offered from Austin to Los Cabos complemented by a late afternoon return flight, both operated by Airbus A319 aircraft.

No other airlines operate flights on the route, leaving American with no direct competition.

Between Austin, Texas and Destin, Florida

destin florida
Destin, Florida. Shutterstock.com / Ruth Peterkin

American will launch flights between Austin and Destin, Florida on June 5 with Saturday-only flights through August 14. A morning flight will be offered from Austin to Destin complemented by an afternoon return flight, both operated by Embraer E175 regional aircraft from Republic Airways.

No other airlines operate flights on the route, leaving American with no direct competition.

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