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Domestic airfares continue to rise with demand

Federal statistics for last summer show they set a record for the period, helping most of the nation's major airlines to report steady profits despite high fuel costs.

January 27, 2012|By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times

As demand continues to rise for air travel, new federal statistics show that domestic airfares last summer set a record for the period.

In the July through September quarter, the average domestic airfare rose to $361, a 6% increase over the same period in 2010, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The average airfare for the third quarter of 2011 was 0.5% higher than the previous record high, $359 for the same period in 2008, according to the bureau.

The bureau calculates the fare by taking an average of all domestic fares, including round-trip tickets and one-way fares.

The average fare, not adjusted for inflation, is the second highest amount for any quarter, behind the second quarter of 2011 when the average price was $370, according to the bureau.

As a result of higher fares and increased demand, most of the nation's major airlines are reporting steady profits, despite high fuel costs.

Delta Airlines, for example, this week reported fourth-quarter net income of $425 million, compared with $19 million a year earlier, when it was hit with charges from early debt repayment and consolidation of airport operations.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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