Airlines Slash Prices to Attract Passengers

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According to a report in Crain’s New York Business, there has been a recent influx of deeply discounted airfare prices. In the report, sourced from FareCompare.com, prices on some routes out of New York are 50 percent lower than last year. Fare cuts on flights between New York City and Europe seem to be leading the pack. According to FareCompare.com, Continental has round-trip flights between Newark and Dublin for $310—a 52-percent decline in price from last year.

Other airlines are also cutting prices. Delta, for example, has round-trip flights to Las Vegas for $215, and flights to San Francisco on JetBlue and American are $231 roundtrip.

Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, said in the report that right now airlines are more concerned with getting passengers than making money. However, because of the fuel crisis last year, which forced carriers to drastically cut back, they entered this downturn in a relatively strong position and could save more than $20 billion on fuel this year.

There doesn’t appear to be any end in sight as far as sales and cuts in capacity due to the recession. In fact, according to the report, Delta plans to reduce its capacity nationwide by 6 to 8 percent in the next year.

Roundtrip fares for these flights departing from New York-area airports are down 22 percent or more from this time last year. Taxes and fees included:

ORLANDO
Continental
$140
-58%

LOS ANGELES
American, Delta, United
$255
-22%

MILAN
Delta, Alitalia
$365
-49%

LONDON
British Airways, Air France, Virgin Atlantic
$435
-42%

Source: FareCompare.com

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