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Average airfares rose 8.4% in 2010

Higher demand, a strengthening economy, and limited new planes and routes helped boost ticket prices, experts say.

May 04, 2011|By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
  • Welcome sign at LAX.
Welcome sign at LAX. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Increased demand for air travel pushed airfares up in 2010 but not enough to surpass pre-recession prices, according to federal statistics released Wednesday.

The average domestic airfare — including one-way and round-trip tickets — rose 8.4% in 2010 to $336.55, compared with $310.35 in the previous year, according to the latest numbers by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The figures were not adjusted for inflation.

Average domestic airfares reached an all-time high of $359 in the three months that ended in September 2008, according to bureau numbers.

Airline industry experts say airline ticket prices have increased because of factors that include a strengthening economy, a higher demand for air travel, and the decision by most major airlines to limit the addition of new planes and routes.

Delta Air Lines and US Airways, two of the nation's largest airlines, announced last month plans to cut capacity later this year to offset rising fuel costs.

Increasing fuel costs, prompted by recent tensions in the Middle East and North Africa, have led the country's five largest airlines to raise ticket prices several times this year.

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