You may have missed a major milestone last week when British Airways landed the first transatlantic flight in Austin. This inaugural flight opened up direct service from Austin to London’s Heathrow airport. This is fantastic news for the Austin technology community, as well as everyone else in Austin who is doing business in Europe.
787’s in the 787
Not only do we now have direct service to London, British Airways is flying the new Boeing 787 for this route. I have not yet had the pleasure of flying in this plane yet, but it certainly looks phenomenal. The aircraft is made of carbon fiber, giving it light weight with intense strength. It’s not something you would think about right away, but with no steel there is no rust or corrosion. Boeing also gave the airplane 78% larger windows, but without window shades (a digital fader tints the window for you). Business Class is luxurious and private.
British Airways held a launch event in Austin, co-hosted by Boeing, to help people get to know the airline as well as understand more about the airplane used, and the service. They brought out a massive 787 flight simulator with three huge flat screen TV’s, and I’m proud to say that I successfully landed once in normal mode (view from behind the plane), and once in cockpit mode. Not a single passenger complained about my landing landing.
They also had a business class seat setup so you could get a feel for what it feels like to stretch out flat, and enjoy the privacy screen and the flat screen entertainment system. As Austin-based technology companies grow, their first international stop is typically the European market, and home base is typically London. This direct service is going to make starting up and visiting your London office much easier and more delightful.
In the few days that the British Airways Ambassadors and team were in Austin (see picture above) they had a brief chance to experience the Austin culture, and many of us Austinites enjoyed meeting them.