Over the past years, we have seen many airlines get rid of what is (in my opinion) the most legendary of Boeing jets, besides the 707. The 747, also known as the Queen of the Skies, ushered in a new era of transportation. It allowed ultra-long haul flights to be possible, as well as it was the first double decker jet. Boeing created the platform that would be the base for other aircraft we see today, such as the A380. But flying a four engined aircraft is very expensive operation. Because of this, airlines have started to phase out double deckers. A few airlines, however, remain committed to the Queen of the Skies (and her partner the A380 (imo The King of the Skies)). British Airways is one such airline.
British Airways 747 Austin Launch
British Airways still has a fleet of about 35 747s. The airline flies them to a few US destinations, such as JFK, Denver, and, starting on April 8, Austin, TX. BA started flying to Austin in 2014, with a 787-8. The flight has since proven very successful, and British Airways flies the route with a mix of 777s and 787-9s. Austin is British Airways third Texas route, alongside Houston and Dallas.
I think Austin is a great destination for British Airways to fly to. The city is not only the capital of Texas, but it is also becoming the center for venture capitalism in the state. With all these up-and-coming businesses, having a connection to Europe is important.
I believe that the change to the 747 is a strong response from BA to Norwegian launching a flight to Austin. Norwegian’s flight will be to Gatwick, while BA flies to Heathrow. Given that Norwegian;s flight is focused more on cost-conscious travelers, BA will probably target those who are more focused on looking for a full service airline. Their 747s have a total of 12 seats in First, 52-86 seats in Club World, 30-36 on World Traveller Plus, and 145-243 in World Traveller (economy).
Although I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and I consider the island to be my home, I have been living in Texas for college for the last 5 years. I was ecstatic when BA announced their Austin flights, and since then, I have seen the flight flourish. As the Austin economy, as well as the Texas economy, improves, I can only but expect the number of international carriers there to grow. British Airways is leading the way on capacity by offering a 747 flight every day.
What do you think? Are you happy to see British Airways add another 747 destination in the US? Would you fly them out of Austin instead of Houston, for example, to fly on the Queen of the Skies? Let us know!
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H/T: The Points Guy
Images from: Wikimedia Commons and the Author. Images from the Author may be used with attribution to this post.