There will soon be another way to fly from Austin to Memphis nonstop.
American Airlines will launch direct flights between Austin and Memphis starting in January. Service between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Memphis International Airport will operate Sunday through Friday using a 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft.
Allegiant Air is the only other airline currently offering nonstop service between Memphis and Austin.
Austin Airport “is excited to provide more options for Austinites and Central Texans traveling to Memphis on American Airlines/the last nonstop flight,” Austin-Bergstrom officials said in a written statement. . “We are grateful to our partners at American Airlines and their investment in our airport and our community.”
As air travel rebounds from the downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, American Airlines has bet on Austin.
Last year, American Airlines began operating 10 annual and seasonal routes from Austin. Year-round routes are to Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, Orlando, Tampa, Washington, DC and Raleigh-Durham, NC Seasonal service is to Aspen, Colorado, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico and Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Some airlines have temporarily suspended nonstop flights from Austin due to labor shortages and other issues.
The new Austin-Memphis route “has been a frequent request from customers,” Philippe Puech, director of short-haul network planning for American Airlines, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Whether guests are minding business or traveling to enjoy the sights and sounds of musical capitals, we look forward to welcoming them on board.
The new 15,000-square-foot American Admirals Club at Gate 14 of Austin Airport can accommodate more than 250 customers, making it Austin’s largest airport lounge, according to the airline.
American’s Admirals Club lounges are accessible by subscription. Passengers traveling with American Airlines or its airline partner Oneworld Alliance can also purchase a day pass to more than 60 of the airline’s lounges around the world.
Austin’s business community has long pushed for more nonstop flights, both within the United States and overseas. Now Austin-Bergstrom is trying to expand to meet booming demand.
Airlines have expanded their domestic flight offerings from Austin in recent years, and several carriers have filled the void in direct flights to Europe. British Airways launched a direct route from Austin to London in 2014, and Virgin Atlantic now operates the same route. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines began direct service to Amsterdam in March.
The Austin Chamber of Commerce’s Air Service Task Force supports airport expansion to help accommodate increased flight volumes in the future.
“As you recruit a head office and expand your head office in your area, the need for business travel increases,” said Matt Geske, vice president of regional and local policy for the Chamber of Commerce. Austin. “You have a lot of companies that need to get their employees to and from their headquarters or to some of their suppliers or their factories or manufacturing sites in different parts of the world. That becomes another feather in the cap of this area if they have nonstop service to high traffic areas.”
The airport master plan calls for 20 new gates in the main terminal, additional ticketing and baggage space, and 2 million square feet of new terminal and concourse space to be added between 2019 and 2029. airport has struggled with capacity issues this year as increased travel demand and understaffing have led to long queues.
American writer-statesman Sarah Asch contributed to this report.