Yesterday was a jam-packed day at Austin-Bergstrom International airport. VivaAerobus, JetBlue Airways and Air Canada held ribbon cutting ceremonies-complete with water cannon salutes, colorful balloon displays and oversized scissors-in honor of new service launches.
There was more activity at one time at the airpot than there has been in the past five years, Austin airport director Jim Smith tells me.
Northwest Airlines and Southwest Airlines also inaugurate new service from the Texas capital this month.
Destinations available from Austin have jumped to 52 from 42 between 2007 and 2008, he says.
Austin’s youth and money-home of the highest median income in Texas-help make it happen, Smith says. A smart staff helps too.
With the exception of the women who was taking her first ever flight-with her boyfriend’s family nonetheless-VivaAerobus customers en route to Cancun were jazzed(see pictures in the new low-cost terminal below).
Passengers included a mother and daughter from San Antonio who otherwise would have waited until later in the year to take a vacation and a group of friends from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area who said the three-hour drive to Austin was worth it for VivaAerobus' fares. Three hours? Hmm… Then again, some people commute three hours, roundtrip, to get to work in Washington, DC, daily. Yikes. A vacation sounds much better.
VivaAerobus CEO Mike Szucs above and with airline spokesman Juan Carlos Zuazua below.