Low-fare airlines are serving more longer-distance markets than in
previous years, pushing ticket prices down in a growing number of
markets, according to a federal study.
While low-fare airlines have for years helped reduce fares
through competition in dense, short-haul markets, some of these
carriers have expanded into long-haul, transcontinental markets,
the U.S. Department of Transpo- rtation said in its third-quarter
2002 Domestic Airline Fares Consumer Report released earlier this
Low-fare carriers that have started or expanded their long-haul
services over the past several years include AirTran Airways, ATA
Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines
and Spirit Airlines.
Those low-fare carriers, as a group, were operating in 26
percent more long-haul markets in the third quarter last year than
in the same period of 2000, the DOT said. They expanded in
short-haul markets by less than 5 percent during the same
In these long-haul markets, average fares declined about 29
percent over the two years while the low-fare carriers’ passenger
traffic increased 179 percent.
The full report, at http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/aviation/ under
“What’s Hot,” provides information on airfares for the top 1,000
city-pair markets in the 48 contiguous states.