American Airlines’ Huge Austin Expansion

American Airlines’ Huge Austin Expansion

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Over the past year American Airlines has been adding service to Austin, and for all practical purposes I’d consider it a focus city for the airline (even if American doesn’t publicly acknowledge that). That expansion will continue, and by this fall American and its partners are expected to operate nearly 100 peak day departures from the airport (this includes Alaska, British Airways, and JetBlue).

A few days ago it was announced that American is adding 14 new routes out of Austin and expanding service in existing markets. These flights have gone on sale, so we now have a sense of the aircraft that will be used. Let’s go over the details.

American’s domestic expansion out of Austin

American will be adding nine new domestic routes from Austin, and will expand frequencies in five existing domestic markets from Austin.

American will be adding flights between Austin (AUS) and the following nine domestic destinations this fall, all to be operated by American Eagle Embraer E175s:

  • Cincinnati (CVG) 2x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • El Paso (ELP) 3x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • Indianapolis (IND) 2x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • Jacksonville (JAX) 1x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • Kansas City (MCI) 2x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • Oklahoma City (OKC) 2x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • Reno (RNO) 1x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • St. Louis (STL) 2x daily as of September 8, 2021
  • Tulsa (TUL) 1x daily as of November 2, 2021

On top of that, American is adding frequencies between Austin (AUS) and the following five existing domestic destinations this fall, to be operated by a combination of mainline aircraft and regional jets:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) additional 2x daily as of November 2, 2021
  • Orlando (MCO) additional 1x daily as of October 7, 2021
  • Miami (MIA) additional 2x daily as of October 7, 2021
  • New Orleans (MSY) additional 1x daily as of October 7, 2021
  • Tampa (TPA) additional 1x daily as of November 2, 2021
American is adding nine domestic routes out of Austin

American’s international expansion out of Austin

Starting this fall, American will operate seven international flights from Austin. No, we’re not talking about Madrid or Tokyo, but rather we’re talking about flights to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, etc.

American will be adding flights between Austin (AUS) and the following seven international destinations this fall, all to be operated by mainline Boeing 737-800s:

  • Cancun (CUN) 4x weekly as of October 7, 2021
  • Liberia (LIR) 3x weekly as of November 2, 2021
  • Nassau (NAS) 4x weekly as of November 2, 2021
  • Punta Cana (PUJ) 4x weekly as of November 2, 2021
  • Puerto Vallarta (PVR) 3x weekly as of November 2, 2021
  • San Jose del Cabo (SJD) 3x weekly as of October 7, 2021
  • San Juan (SJU) 1x daily as of October 7, 2021 (admittedly this isn’t international, but for all practical purposes it seems more appropriate to include it with this category based on the type of route this is)

Five of these are new routes that hadn’t previously been operated, while the Nassau and San Jose del Cabo routes are being operated as a summer seasonal service this year, but are now being added year-round.

American will operate seven international routes out of Austin

Bottom line

It’s really impressive to see American Airlines’ growth in Austin. Going back a couple of years, Austin was an airport where American exclusively operated service to its hubs, while nowadays the airport is becoming a focus city. While American isn’t calling Austin a focus city, it’s hard to view it any other way.

American’s expansion in Austin has now been added to the schedule — American will mostly be using regional jets for its domestic point-to-point expansion, while the airline is using 737s for most of its international expansion.

While Southwest remains the biggest airline in Austin, American is now leading the way among the legacy airlines, and seems poised to grow even further.

What do you make of American Airlines’ growth in Austin?

Conversations (26)
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  1. Alan

    So why are posts getting reposted lately? I saw this days ago and yet now it’s showing up at the top of recent posts with a time stamp of ‘3hr ago’ even though there are comments from days ago on the very posts. This isn’t the first or even fifth time I’ve noticed it.

    1. Michael

      It's obnoxious, but I believe the reason is that new information was added to the post. When this was initially posted, for example, the flights weren't loaded yet, so we didn't know what aircraft they'd be using. Unfortunately, there's no clear indication in the article of what new information has been added, so most of it is stuff we've already seen but you can't get the changes without re-reading the whole post.

  2. Points with a Crew

    I have been following this as I have a conference in Austin and was excited to look at changing my 1-stop flight to a nonstop.

    Now that the flights are loaded, I checked it out. My existing 1-stop flight is $195.

    Orrrrr.... I could take the non-stop for $1,233.... I think I'll just connect in Chicago :-)

  3. Jon

    AA trying to keep Delta away. Smart move.

  4. Parker

    Great article here. So great to see all these new options out of AUS, too. And I have to wonder if/when we're going to see long haul flying from airlines like American from non-hub destinations like Austin. Given the pullback from cities like PHL, maybe longer than pre-Covid-19. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed it comes soon. Maybe out of BOS in conjunction with JetBlue?

  5. kenindfw

    The growth in Austin has been dramatic, but it's been overcrowded for several decades. I don't understand why the airport is so far out of town and agree that the road system in and around Austin is much to be desired. At least in Dallas where I reside there are plenty of alternate paths to bypass when the fire trucks and police decide to shut down 4 lanes of a 5 lane road because someone can't move their car onto the shoulder to allow other drivers to pass.

    1. Timo

      It's a reuse of an old air force base so it was the cheaper and easier option at the time if I remember correctly...But I moved before they relocated.

  6. Franklin

    Can we please see a AUS-HOU so that the folks in Houston can escape united and have one-stop access to these destinations from somewhere other than Dallas?

    1. D3kingg

      Agreed. It’s a manageable drive from Houston to Austin. I’ve made the drive from Houston to Dallas twice and it’s 4 hours quite the stretch. HOU-DFW on a crj 900 to catch the mothership in Dallas is my regular routine. If they flew to London or Tokyo from Austin it would be worth the drive from Houston.

    2. Dennis

      Don't BA already fly to London?

    3. Jimmy K

      Pre-pandemic indeed BA did, but its not a route that's been re-started. Flew there from LHR in Feb 2020, outbound on a 777 and the return was the first day of the year BA had rostered a 747. It was my first and possibly last ever flight on the Queen of the skies, so bitter sweet.

    4. John

      Route starts back on July 19th, same schedule as before.

    5. Jason

      That's one of the more ridiculous things I've ever heard. If you dont like United you can fly Southwest to way more cities from Hobby than what AA is offering at Austin. AA is not going to offer a feeder flight from Austin to Houston so that Houston people can connect to other places on the AA network. They already do that from Houston to Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte, Phoenix, LAX - all AA hubs.

  7. Jerry

    This AUS based EXP couldn't be happier about this announcement.

    As for the comments regarding growth and security waits in Austin... it's really on you at this point if you don't have precheck. The two precheck lines at AUS always have a short wait, even when standard screening is out the door. Clear is even better, and because of the layout of the airport, there's really no AA penalty for using Clear. NICE WORK, AA!

  8. John T

    El Paso... I spent a month there one night!

  9. Lou

    Austin… very underrated city!

    1. Jason

      actually, I feel it's overrated. Horrendous traffic. I know it's trendy but honestly I didnt see the appeal on multiple visits

  10. Alex

    Slight mistake - SJU isn't an international route/airport

  11. LK

    Ugh - I live in Austin and I drive to IAH or DFW to avoid AUS sometimes. This city just has no idea how to handle its growth and the airport is a great example. It's becoming a horrible place to live.

    1. Christopher

      Austin has definitely completely seen some insane growth and changes in the last 20 years. I feel like all of Texas' major cities are going through some big growth pains but Austin the most.

      The roads are the worst thing needing major infrastructure overhaul. It's so hard to commute anywhere in the city. At least in DFW we have some major freeways allowing access in any direction. Austin just has 35 (aka "the parking...

      Austin has definitely completely seen some insane growth and changes in the last 20 years. I feel like all of Texas' major cities are going through some big growth pains but Austin the most.

      The roads are the worst thing needing major infrastructure overhaul. It's so hard to commute anywhere in the city. At least in DFW we have some major freeways allowing access in any direction. Austin just has 35 (aka "the parking lot") or the insane amount of toll roads to nowhere.

      The airport is definitely going to need to get bigger to handle the increase in traffic which good or bad is not going to be easy for the city to deal with.

    2. LK

      You're so right. Even scarier is that the city council is deliberately importing laws and policies from San Francisco. I just love DFW so much too, such a wonderful airport. IAH is getting much better too.

    3. Timo

      I lived in Austin in mid-80s thru early-90s and the lack of East-West highways or main arteries was a huge problem then. It's shocking that city hasn't worked it out yet. Of course back then the airport was a 5 minute drive from campus.

    4. Sir Walter Raleigh

      @LK - wait until your city imports reformative justice from SF...

      Lived in the city by the bay since 1978 but moved out during COVID because of the “catch and release”, no bail program our DA implemented for petty crimes.

      If they ever get a court date these guys get a slap on the wrist (eg 2-3 days on time served). It’s so sad. My car got broken into 3 times and Asian Americans in the city are targetted.

    5. LK

      That's so horrible, but happy to hear you got out. Austin is only a front yard homeless encampment away from that!!

    6. Sir Walter Raleigh

      @LK - look into prop 47... And Nancy Skinner's proposed bill making aggravated assault count as petty robbery.

      Honestly, I feel that the "tough on crime" approach we used to hear in the 80s and 90s was a bit heavy handed and it makes sense to look into smarter law enforcement. This is the direction SF was taking under Kamala Harris' as DA (read her book "Smart on Crime" if you're interested in reading more)

      ...

      @LK - look into prop 47... And Nancy Skinner's proposed bill making aggravated assault count as petty robbery.

      Honestly, I feel that the "tough on crime" approach we used to hear in the 80s and 90s was a bit heavy handed and it makes sense to look into smarter law enforcement. This is the direction SF was taking under Kamala Harris' as DA (read her book "Smart on Crime" if you're interested in reading more)

      This idea of reformative justice is just being soft on crime, and far left politicians grubbing for votes from communities they barely understand!

  12. Christopher

    I just relocated to Austin from Fort Worth and obviously my air travel was 90% on American flying out of DFW.

    It's great that I have more non stop choices out of AUS on AA and won't have to connect in DFW as much now. Only issue is hopefully the airport can keep up with the increase in passengers. The news stories for the last few days showed wait times up to 3 hours to clear security. So hopefully, the infrastructure can keep up with the increase as well.

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Points with a Crew

I have been following this as I have a conference in Austin and was excited to look at changing my 1-stop flight to a nonstop. Now that the flights are loaded, I checked it out. My existing 1-stop flight is $195. Orrrrr.... I could take the non-stop for $1,233.... I think I'll just connect in Chicago :-)

Jason

actually, I feel it's overrated. Horrendous traffic. I know it's trendy but honestly I didnt see the appeal on multiple visits

John

Route starts back on July 19th, same schedule as before.

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