By New Haven Register | Luther Turmelle | Thursday, May 24, 2018
Officials with a trade group for the largest airlines in the United States said travelers flying out of Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport are seeing the lowest airfares in 18 years.
When adjusted for inflation, domestic airfares from Bradley are down 11 percent since 2000, according to officials with Airlines for America. An average one-way fare out of the Windsor Locks-based airport, including ancillaries, costs $197.76, according to the trade group’s analysis.
“Connecticut travelers taking to the skies this summer are benefiting from continuously low fares in the region and increased competition from low-cost and ultra-low cost carriers that are flying to more destinations than ever before,” John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist for the group, said in a statement. “There’s never been a better time to fly and passengers should take advantage of these economic conditions to plan their summer travel.”
Heimlich said the addition of ultra-low cost carrier Spirit Airlines is an example of the kind of increased competition that is benefiting travelers that fly out of Bradley. Spirit began flying out of Bradley in April 2017 to Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Florida.
This summer, JetBlue will increase its flights out of Bradley by nearly 15 percent compared to 2015, according to Heimlich.
The decrease in the cost of domestic airfares at Bradley is part of a national trend, according to Airlines for America officials. Over the last three years, the average cost of an inflation-adjusted round-trip ticket has fallen by 13 percent from $391 to $340.
Airlines for America is expecting an all-time high for summer air travel with 246.1 million passengers to fly globally from June 1 and August 31. That translates to 2.68 million per day and represents, a 3.7 percent increase from 2017.
Airlines are adding 116,000 more seats per day across their networks to handle the increase in travelers.
Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon said the agency has been able to increase the number of available airline seats at Bradley by 27 percent over a period of almost five years. The Airport Authority took over control of Bradley in July 2013.
“We have put a strong emphasis on route development at Bradley, and it is clear that those efforts have paid off with the reestablishment of transatlantic service, multiple nonstop options to the West Coast, and new services to a number of other major destinations,” Dillon said.
Bradley last year had its largest annual growth in passenger traffic since 2014. The airport served 6.43 million passengers in 2017, a 6.2 percent increase compared to 2016.