British Airways Shakes Up Europe Fares

British Airways threw down the gauntlet in competing with low-fare European carriers on Thursday. The airline threw out its existing short-haul fare system within the U.K. and Europe and introduced one-way, all-inclusive tickets starting at just £29. The one-way fares were slashed by up to 50 percent; the airline will offer more than 7 million plane seats a year to more than 65 destinations at these low prices. Also gone are the non-changeable tickets of the past; air travelers will be able to fly at an affordable price, yet change their flights up to midnight the day prior to departure. The new program will increase the number of changeable tickets on sale by 15 million a year. British Airways' Commercial Director, Martin George, said the airline is operating in a highly competitive market and is determined to be the first choice for air travelers. He also said the plan was not a short-term gimmick, but a long-term commitment to travelers to provide low fares year-round. British Airways has reduced its one-way prices for flights within the UK and Europe by an average of 70 percent compared to 10 years ago. The news should provide additional choices for consumers—and their travel agents—looking for low-fare travel options within Europe this summer.

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