Survey: Huntsville Airfares Remain Sky-High
The summer travel season is just around the corner, but those looking to fly out of Huntsville will have to ante up some serious cash.
A flight out of Huntsville International Airport continues to be a costly one, with the latest numbers showing the airport on a notorious and all-too familiar list.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Huntsville International Airport has the fourth-highest airfares in the country during the final quarter of 2011, with an average of $474 per ticket. Cincinnati led the list at $502, and was followed by Houston and Memphis. Washington Dulles and Newark Liberty tied Huntsville on the survey. The national average was $368 per ticket.
Airport officials told WHNT News 19 that a disproportionate number of business travelers continue to push up prices, a trend that may be accelerated later this year when low-cost carrier AirTran officially exits the market.
“We’re still above the national average, and that’s not where we want to be,” said airport spokeswoman Barbie Peek. “The airport authority is doing everything they can do…It’s part of the dynamics of our community being a heavily business travel market…We are in an environment right now where airlines are cutting capacity irregardless of the fact that we are losing a carrier.”
Peek said the airport is trying to lower fares by working on incentive packages with airlines that are still in Huntsville, but conceded results may not happen anytime soon as price-savvy passengers fly to cheaper locales nearby like Nashville and Birmingham.
Southwest Airlines announced that they would not come to Huntsville earlier this year, shortly after the airline acquired AirTran.