British Airways announces 787 service to Austin, Texas

British Airways announced today that they’ll be launching service between London Heathrow and Austin, starting March 3, 2014. The new service will be flown by a 787 and initially operate five times a week (every day except Wednesdays and Saturdays), and by the end of 2014 be daily.

The new service will operate the following schedule:

BA191 London to Austin departing 12:35PM arriving 5:00PM
BA190 Austin to London departing 7:00PM arriving 10:00AM (+1 day)

Kudos to British Airways for the innovation here. Routes like these — that no one saw coming — are what make the 787 awesome. While you have airlines like Qatar Airways flying the 787 between London and Doha, I don’t find that to be especially exciting since it’s a route they operated with great frequency before the 787. I love the new routes the plane has opened up, though, like Boston to Tokyo, Helsinki to Tokyo, Denver to Tokyo, etc.

British Airways 787
Photo courtesy British Airways

Comments

  1. This bodes well for United / United flyers, right?

    Doesn’t UA have the largest number of 787’s on order? Will be interesting to see additional route announcements.

    Only downside I see is when they take an existing route (SEA-NRT) and downguage it to a 787…

  2. As an Austinite itā€™s definitely nice to have this service, but the fare difference is such that connecting through Dallas into a widebody just makes sense. I suspect this will be more about destination traffic into Austin than anything originating here.

  3. This is great news! Any idea what the award pricing will look like? More than anything else, it can save good 6 hours in a round trip flight to Europe, with connecting times etc. Also, wonder if this will be an AA code share.

  4. @Stephan. I don’t think it’s the Grand Prix as that’s only one weekend and it’s before the route starts.

    @Mike. I’m sure it’s all about taking European and Middle Eastern travellers to Austin – US flyers are more interested in miles than anything else.

    @Lark. I don’t see UA innovating much with their 787s – they are too busy trying to downsize and replace their ancient wide body fleet.

  5. @ Lark — In theory, yes, though in practice I don’t think we’ll see that much innovation from United. They’re using the 787s more as 767 replacements, and so far we haven’t seen many innovative routes from them other than Denver to Tokyo.

    Keep in mind that when they first announced their 787 plans they had said they wanted to fly it to New Zealand first, which would’ve been awesome… though that hasn’t happened yet.

  6. @ murali — Each way it’ll cost 25,000 Avios in coach, 37,500 Avios in premium economy, or 50,000 Avios in business.

  7. Sure would love to see a foreign carrier – regardless of route or who they are – begin 787 service to PDX. While we appreciate Delta’s offering of routes to NRT and AMS, we don’t appreciate the fact that it’s Delta operating them.

  8. Looks like fares are at a 60% premium over connecting flights. Happy as an Austinite, but for now UA’s 787 from IAH is a better option.

  9. @ Jason C — In fairness they just announced the route today, so I wouldn’t consider their introductory rates to be sustainable long term.

  10. Lucky, is it true you STILL haven’t flown on the Dreamliner? I know you planned to fly on LOT but plans changed when they got grounded in January.

  11. @ Josh G — Indeed I haven’t. Working on changing that with a US 90K award that incorporates LOT, ANA, and Ethiopian “Dreamliners.” šŸ˜€

  12. Ben, do you think fuel surcharges should vary by aircraft type, and not route? After all, the 787 uses less fuel than an a380…so shouldn’t the YQ be less?

  13. I’m based in Houston and this is probably a good news for people flying out of IAH and DFW More flights out of Texas should mean better award availability for all, right?

    A bit disappointed no first class on this flight but business seats must be in higher demand (at least, based on lack of J award space on IAH-LHR).

  14. @Alex – BA fuel surcharges have nothing to do with fuel costs. Its a scam charge, user tax, administrative fee, whatever you want it to be and has no basis in any actual passenger costs to BA. It’s a pure money grab, plain and simple.

  15. @ Alex — As Stephan notes the whole thing is a scam. I think there shouldn’t be any at all and that the cost of fuel should be factored into the cost of a ticket. But you raise a great point given how fuel efficient the 787 is. Maybe it should have a battery surcharge instead. šŸ˜‰

  16. @ Ivan Y — Yep, in theory any added capacity should improve award space from that part of the country. At least in theory.

  17. Given the variance in what fuel surcharge should be by aircraft type, the whole concept seems ripe for a class action lawsuit…

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