AUSTIN, Texas (KVUE) — Grab your bags because Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) announced on Oct. 24 that Austin travelers will soon be able to fly nonstop to Paris.
"From the Eiffel Tower to the world famous Galleries of the Louvre, few cities in the world evoke the wonder that Paris does," the airport's executive director Jacqueline Yaft said at the announcement Thursday.
Starting in May 2020, Norwegian Airlines will start the nonstop service from Austin's airport. The beginning fares for this new route will be as low as $220 for economy one-way tickets and $830 for premium one-way tickets.
"As an airline, we have always been focused on affordable fares for everybody," said Lars Sande, senior vice president of sales.
Norwegian added service from Austin to London in March 2018. Sande said that service has been very successful, encouraging the airline to add the Paris flight.
"We've seen a year-over-year increase in passenger traffic to and from Europe specifically that doesn't show any sign of slowing anytime soon," Yaft said.
Five years ago, Austin did not have any transatlantic flights.
"Today's announcement of the Norwegian route launch form Paris to Austin marks the fifth transatlantic flight to AUS in only five years," said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Austin. "This is a testament to how Austin continues to grow as a premier destination and we are thrilled that Norwegian has invested in not one but two nonstop routes into Austin, connecting London and Paris to Austin."
According to Noonan, AUS is the only airport Norwegian Airlines services in all of Texas. He said the new air service is expected to boost tourism in Central Texas.
Norwegian Airlines will operate its flights between Austin and Paris on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between May 6 and Sept. 20, 2020, and on Fridays and Sundays between Sep. 25 and Oct. 23, 2020.
"We're increasing our capacity to London as well as opening earlier – just in time for SXSW, as many tourists will be coming to this area," said Sande.
Both their London and Paris routes will be summer seasonal in order to meet the high demands of visitation.
KVUE recently spoke to the airport's new executive director, who detailed the 2040 master plan for the airport. Plans show the creation of a new main terminal as well as a new concourse, nearly doubling the number of gates and bringing the airport’s capacity to up to 40 million passengers per year. In 2018, the airport served a record 15.8 million passengers.
AUS opened up on May 23, 1999, as the last airport built in the 20th century. It was constructed in the footprint of Bergstrom Air Force Base, replacing the Robert Mueller Municipal Aiport that had served Austin's passengers for more than 60 years.
Story courtesy of KVUE.