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Airlines looking to nudge fares up

Posted by guest  June 25, 2009 12:34 PM

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Forewarned is forearmed. Recent reports suggest that problems for the airline industry may be near bottoming out, and with the the seasonal uptick of air travel it looks like carriers are trying to may some hay. Bloomberg, citing numbers from Farecompare.com, is reporting that the major carriers may be trying to make another move to raise fares.

American Airlines and United Airlines raised most domestic fares by as much as $20 for a round trip, the second increase in as many weeks, as they try to take advantage of peak U.S. summer travel season demand.

AMR Corp.’s American boosted prices by $10 to $20 on most U.S. routes yesterday, and UAL Corp.’s United matched the move, ticket-research firm FareCompare.com said in an e-mail. Delta Air Lines Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. led carriers in a $20 round trip increase in the second week of June.

Two successful fare increases in a month would support an International Air Transport Association report today that the slump in global airline travel may have reached a “floor” following a 9.3 percent decline in passenger traffic last month. Airlines have slashed prices to win customers in the recession.

“We may have hit bottom, but we are a long way from recovery,” IATA Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Bisignani said in a statement. “This crisis is the worst we have ever seen.”

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