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1st of Austin’s 6 New International Flights This Year Takes Off Today

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Bergstrom is getting a little more international.

A new nonstop route to Amsterdam takes off Monday evening, with airport officials and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines hosting a celebration to commemorate it.

The airline — the flag carrier of the Netherlands — will fly the new route three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The flights are overnight, taking off from Austin at 6 p.m. and landing in Amsterdam at 10:25 the following morning.

Return flights take off at 12:40 p.m. local time and land at 4:10 p.m. in Austin. The time zone difference between Austin and Amsterdam is seven hours.

Flights were originally scheduled to start in May 2020, but were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“AUS is excited to finally launch nonstop service to Amsterdam,” said Jacqueline Yaft, the airport’s CEO. “Offering direct service to European cities is a huge priority for AUS and this is a milestone we’ve been eager to meet since May of 2020.”

Amsterdam was previously identified as a priority route for the airport. In January 2021, the city of Austin approved offering incentives to airlines which brought in new routes, especially those considered a top priority.

In addition to Amsterdam, Beijing, Dublin, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo were highlighted as priorities. Nonstop flights to Hawaii were also prioritized, leading to Hawaiian Airlines starting an Austin-Honolulu route in April 2021.

The new Amsterdam route is not the only international nonstop being introduced in 2022. So far, five other routes have been announced:

Lufthansa will fly to Frankfurt, Germany, beginning April 8. This route was suspended in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Air Canada will fly to Vancouver, Canada, beginning June 1.American Airlines will fly to Cozumel, Mexico, and Montego Bay, Jamaica, beginning June 11. Southwest Airlines will also fly to Cozumel beginning the same day.Spirit Airlines will fly to Monterrey, Mexico, beginning June 22.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic announced it will begin flights to London Heathrow on May 25. The route is currently offered by British Airways.

Ten international routes are currently offered out of AUS, four of which are in Mexico. Prior to the Amsterdam route, London was the only European city served directly from Austin.

Original Post: kxan.com

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