Average First-Quarter Domestic Air Fares Rose 4.4 Percent from 2007

HarpBlaster.com News Wire

WASHINGTON — Average domestic air fares in the first quarter of 2008 were up 4.4 percent from the first quarter of 2007 in the largest year-to-year increase since second quarter 2006, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) said. At the same time, average fares remained 4.6 percent below the January-to-March high set in 2001.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that average fares increased 11.7 percent from the first quarter of 1995 to the first quarter of 2008 compared to a cumulative 41.0 percent inflation rate. First quarter 2008 fares increased 4.4 percent from the first quarter of 2007 compared to a 4.0 percent inflation rate.

The average domestic itinerary fare in the first quarter of 2008 of $332 was the highest average fare since the second quarter of 2006. The first-quarter 2008 average fare was up 10.1 percent from the post-9/11 first-quarter low of $301 in 2005.

Average fares are based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. Fares include taxes and fees. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or “zero fares” or a few abnormally high reported fares. Average fares in this release may not be comparable to BTS fare press releases before the second quarter of 2007 which did not exclude frequent flyer fares or abnormally high fares. Bulk fares continue to be excluded as in earlier releases.

Average air fares in the first quarter of 2008 rose 1.5 percent from the fourth-quarter 2007 average of $327. Quarter-to-quarter changes may be affected by seasonal factors.

Beginning with this release, BTS will not include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico airports in average fare totals and rankings.

Of the top 100 airports based on originating passengers, the highest first-quarter average fares were in Cincinnati; followed by Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.; Madison, Wisc.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Grand Rapids, Mich. The lowest fares in the top 100 airports were at Atlantic City, N.J., followed by Dallas Love, Texas; Burbank, Calif.; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Las Vegas, Nev.

The largest year-to-year average fare increase for the first quarter among the 100 largest airports, ranked by originating passengers, was 15.6 percent in Boston followed by Washington Dulles; Houston Bush; Washington Reagan National; and Chicago Midway.

The biggest year-to-year average decrease was 48.6 percent Atlantic City, NJ followed by Charleston, SC; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; San Francisco; and Atlanta.

The largest average fare increase from the first quarter of 1995 was 187.2 percent at Dallas Love, followed by Lubbock, Texas; Houston Hobby; El Paso, Texas; and Las Vegas.

The largest average fare decrease from the first quarter of 1995 to the first quarter of 2007 was 34.6 percent in White Plains, N.Y. The other top five average fare decreases over this period took place at Manchester, N.H.; Newburgh, N.Y.; Jackson, Miss.; and Pittsburgh.

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