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British Airways to Fly 747s on Austin-London Route

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British Airways Boeing 747-400 G-BNLU.
British Airways Boeing 747-400 G-BNLU. / photo credit: BriYYZ / Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Starting on April 8, 2018, British Airways will operate its nonstop route between Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) and London Heathrow (LHR) with Boeing 747 aircraft. This will mark the first regularly scheduled commercial passenger service using 747s at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The British Airways upgrade to 747 aircraft increases first class service by six seats, business class by 10 seats and 116 more economy seats.

Flights depart Austin at 6:40 PM and arrive at London Heathrow at 10 AM. Flights depart Heathrow at 12 NOON and arrive in Austin at 4:16 PM.

British Airways began flying daily between Austin-Bergstrom International and London Heathrow in March 2014, providing local businesses and families the first non-stop scheduled service to Europe.

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Airlines

Sun Country Starts New Nonstop Flight to Gulfport/Biloxi

The new seasonal nonstop service give travelers the option to check out the second-largest city in Mississippi and third-largest casino and gaming destination in the U.S.

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Vacationers looking to cool down near the Gulf Coast this summer now have the option of taking a nonstop flight from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) to Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT) as Sun Country Airlines started their seasonal nonstop service on July 19.

The new nonstop from AUS to GPT operates twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays from late July until Dec. 16, 2019. Tickets and packages are available at SunCountry.com.

On Mondays and Fridays, flights depart Austin at 10:10 AM and arrive in Gulfport / Biloxi at 11:40 AM. Flights depart Gulfport / Biloxi at 5:35 PM and arrive in Austin at 7:15 PM.

This new destination offers passengers a nonstop flight to the second-largest city in Mississippi and third-largest casino and gaming destination in the United States. Along with its coast casinos, Gulfport and Biloxi offers 26 miles of white sand beaches, over 20 golf courses and other outdoor options including sport fishing with over 200 species.

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Destinations

Britain Most Popular European Destination for American LGBTQ Travelers

New research shows that Britain is the most popular European destination for American LGBTQ travelers, beating all other countries surveyed to the top rank, followed by France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and Ireland.

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View from Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament, the River Thames, Westminster and Westminster Bridge, with the London Eye in the distance, London, England. Photo credit: VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

The ‘LGBTQ Leisure Travel to Britain’ research, carried out by Community Marketing & Insights, found that Britain’s historical and cultural attractions were found to be the top travel motivators overall for LGBTQ visitors with 76% sightseeing at famous buildings and monuments and 71% visiting museums and art galleries on their trip. The survey also found that American LGBTQ visitors enjoyed the vibrancy of Britain’s cities with London, Edinburgh, Bath, Glasgow and Manchester the top five cities for overnight visits.

“It is no wonder Britain is such a popular destination for the LGBTQ community with our vibrant cities, unparalleled cultural offering, stunning countryside and world-class attractions,” said VisitBritain Senior Vice President for the Americas Paul Gauger.

Gay couple standing by the River Thames on Westminster Bridge, with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the background, London. Photo credit: ©VisitBritain/ Richard Allen

“We also know that global competition for visitors is fierce and people have a lot of choice. We must continue to highlight the equality and openness of Britain while addressing barriers to travel, promoting our message of welcome and value and highlighting experiences that research shows appeal to LGBTQ visitors from America,” Gauger added. “Crucially these insights can help us link the motivations and inspirations for LGBTQ travel with the amazing destinations, activities and attractions that can only be experienced in Britain.”

Britain’s countryside and outdoor activities appealed strongly to women and two thirds were interested in exploring small towns or the countryside in Britain.

Shaftesbury Avenue, London’s West End. Night. Dusk. A row of theatres, with large marquee signs outside advertising the shows playing. Theatreland. Light trails of road traffic. Photo credit: ©VisitBritain/ Tristan Vince

Going to the theatre was also cited as an influencer particularly for male visitors and LGBTQ-themed theatre was considered an important motivator for repeat visits to Britain.

Younger LGBTQ visitors were also attracted to quirky attractions and experiences in Britain, such as unusual tours, themed activities and discovering hidden gems.

The research found that while summer is the most popular time of year for the LGTBQ community to travel to Britain for a vacation, spring and autumn also featured highly, demonstrating the potential to drive more seasonal tourism growth.

Gay and lesbian couples smiling and embracing on the sand at Brighton beach. Brighton Wheel is in the background. Photo credit: ©VisitBritain/Richard Allen

However, Britain was seen as an expensive destination with the LGBTQ visitors surveyed, citing this as the top reason that might prevent them taking a vacation.

“Britain’s accommodation, dining and visitor attractions are continuing to offer great deals for visitors, and with a favourable exchange rate we are promoting a message of value across our activity in the US to drive bookings,” Gauger explained. “Also, with more direct airline routes and more daily flights from the US on offer, along with a calendar of exciting events throughout the year, it’s really a great time to book a trip now.”

Group of gay couples standing outside G-A-Y Bar in Manchester. Smiling and holding drinks outside night club. Manchester nightlife. Photo credit: ©VisitBritain/Ben Selway

VisitBritain is boosting awareness of Britain internationally as a LGTBQ friendly and welcoming destination, promoting equality and diversity through its Love is GREAT Britain campaign, now in its fifth year. The recent UK presence at WorldPride 2019 in New York City was among the 29 LGBTQ+ events and activities that are taking place in 15 cities across the Americas.

Forward flight bookings from the US to the UK are currently tracking ahead 4% for arrivals from June to August this year compared to the same period in 2018.

The US is Britain’s top inbound market for both visits and spend. VisitBritain is expecting 3.9 million visits overall from the US this year with visitors forecast to spend £3.5 billion.

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Airlines

Frontier Starts Austin to San Francisco Nonstop Service

Low-fare carrier, Frontier Airlines begins nonstop service from South Terminal (AUS) to San Francisco (SFO)

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Low-fare carrier, Frontier Airlines has started nonstop service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to San Francisco International Airport. The new seasonal service will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

“We are thrilled to begin service from Austin to San Francisco,” said Daniel Shurz, Senior Vice President, Commercial for Frontier Airlines. “Frontier is always looking for ways to make travel from central Texas easier and more affordable, and our Kids Fly Free and Friends Fly Free programs are the latest example of what we mean by Low Fares Done Right.”

“Service to San Francisco marks Frontier’s 19th non-stop route from the Austin South Terminal,” said Jeff Pearse, CEO, LoneStar Airport Holding, LLC, and operator of the South Terminal at the Austin airport. “We are pleased to welcome those travelers to the South Terminal – and invite them to enjoy an airport experience that evokes the golden age of air travel – intimate, retro design, outdoor seating, a food truck and a vibe that is uniquely Austin.”

All Frontier flights operate from the South Terminal which has a separate entrance and parking on the south side of the airport and is not accessible from inside the Barbara Jordan Terminal or from SH 71. The South Terminal is located at 10000 Logistics Lane and is accessible from US 183 South and Burleson Road.

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