Affordable Airfares Program lowers fares, helps economy
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport had the country’s 11th largest airline fare decrease since 2000 and now ranks 43rd in average fare of the 100 busiest airports, according to research by the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
The bureau recently released its fourth quarter 2010 domestic airfare study, which reported that Wichita’s average airline fare in the fourth quarter was $345 - in line with the current U.S. average of $337 and less than the average fare at Tulsa and Oklahoma City. While average fares at Kansas City’s airport are still less than Wichita’s, the gap has narrowed significantly, according to the report. In 2000, the fare difference between Wichita and Kansas City was $138; that difference is now only $41.
The fourth quarter average fare at Wichita increased 4.9% from 2009, while the U.S. average increased slightly more than 5% as a sign of the strengthening economy, a higher demand for air travel and fewer flights available nationally, and higher airline fuel costs. Wichita’s fares are now 18% less than in 2000, when the average Wichita fare was $419 and the U.S. average fare was $340.
“The Affordable Air Fares program has helped lower airline prices in Wichita,” Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer said. “We look forward to a continuation of this highly successful program. It lowers fares and is an important investment that brings money back into the State coffers and benefits all Kansans with better airline service and improved economic benefits.”