Airfares Up 7.5 Percent in 3Q

Airline ticket prices were up 7.5 percent in the third quarter of 2006 compared to the year before, the biggest increase for that period since 2000, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Wednesday, according to the AP. The data was released the same day chief executives from Tempe, AZ.-based US Airways Group Inc. and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. faced questions from the Senate Commerce Committee on the effect on fares and number of flights should US Airways' hostile bid for Delta be successful. The 7.5 percent increase was the average for all domestic flights and international flights starting in the U.S., on U.S. carriers. The average domestic fare in the third quarter was $389.08, up 8.1 percent from the same period in 2005, but down 4.7 percent from the historic third-quarter high of $408.35 in 2000, according to the DOT.

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