Virgin America adds Austin-Dallas route

Virgin America is turning its operation at Dallas Love Field into a bit of a hub serving connecting passengers rather than focusing only on the O/D markets. The carrier announced service between Dallas and Austin today for 5x daily flights; service begins on 28 April 2015. Currently Southwest flies the route 10x daily while American Airlines flies DFW-AUS 14x daily. Service to Austin will replace previously announced service to Chicago O’hare; the company has expressed concerns about securing the necessary gate space at ORD to support that route.

Virgin America at Dallas Love Field; photo coutesy of Virgin America


Choosing Austin means heavy competition but also lower operating costs due to it being a shorter route. It also means feeding the flights to Washington, DC, Los Angeles and New York City from Austin (SFO has non-stop flights). That can help to increase load factors but it also creates a situation where yields are likely to be depressed; connecting flights typically have lower yields than nonstop flights with lower fares and the revenue is amortized over higher costs.

That could present financial pressures on the new Dallas hub operations even as it creates something more of a hub rather than just a city with a lot of O/D flights.

Read More: Virgin America to battle Southwest on Dallas-Austin route

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I don’t see this route working well for them, too much competition and not enough connecting options from there DAL “hub”

    1. “Work” is a relative term. I agree that it is unlikely to be especially profitable but I also don’t know that it is any worse than whatever other options they may have had for those flights. And it is important to keep the gate fully utilized to maintain use of the space.

  2. Any thoughts on Virgin putting more flights into Austin? Seems like they’d be a great fit consumer-wise for that city. I have no idea how constrained AUS is these days, though I imagine Virgin is getting fairly aircraft constrained by this point.

    I’m really unclear what their big picture strategy is over the next few years.

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