This weekend Dave Young, our Air Service Director, and I will travel to Austin, TX as part of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference. We are eager to join the 170 business and civic leaders from across Wake County who will learn about the infrastructure and business climate of the Austin metropolitan area.
We at RDU are excited about this trip because we can learn from Austin especially when it comes to expanding international air service in today’s competitive aviation environment.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) successfully secured a nonstop international flight to London. The flight launched in March 2014 but it didn’t happen overnight. The airport and surrounding community worked for some time to reach that goal together.
As we have talked about in this blog before, RDU is in pursuit of expanding its international service – to support the 1.5 million people who travel between RDU and international destinations each year.
American Airlines has offered nonstop service from RDU to London for more than 20 years. In the 1990s, private and public sector partnerships were instrumental in launching the service. We know that today, partnerships are just as critical, so we are eager to learn how his played a role in Austin’s successful recruitment of London service.
We’re looking forward to learning more about their experience but here’s a preview:
- Community Need
- It’s the first regular transatlantic air service for Austin.
- It’s the result of collaboration from community leaders, civic organizations and the airport as explained in this press release.
- Economic Impact
- The route was expected to have an initial economic impact of $69.7 million the first year and is expected to grow to $74 million annually within three years.
There is so much more to learn about the Austin story, and we’ll share more when we return to RDU. Stay tuned!