Delta in fares move to plug Cincy leakage

Jencomap2.gifIt really isn’t that far from Cincinnati to places like Dayton or Louisville, especially if you’re hungry for a low fare. Lots of people make the 90-mile drive to Louisville to catch a Southwest flight or schlep the 50 miles to Dayton to fly on AirTran. But back in Cinnci, Delta suffers the leakage. Now, Delta’s moving to stimulate traffic at its Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky hub with a new fare structure that cuts prices paid by about 80% of the passengers. Delta chief executive Richard Anderson hinted at the fares in the SkyTeam carrier’s recent earnings call, and the worlds of southern Ohio, where the city is, and northern Kentucky, where the airport is, has been waiting eagerly since.

Cincinnati has long been in the top rankings for highest average fares as calculated by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Delta and its regional affiliates have over 80% of the traffic at the airport. The new fares offer what Delta calls permanent reductions of as much as 58% on a 21-day advance-purchase, with smaller reduction on tickets bought closer in and on walk-up fares. For example, a one-way fare from Cincinnati to Los Angeles falls from $310 to $130 (58%), while a $205 one-way to Boston drops to $152, a 26% reduction.

Glenn Hauenstein, Delta’s executive vice president for network planning and revenue management, said that the fares should make it “compelling” for customers to choose the airport “rather than wasting time and money driving to neighboring airports.”

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