Last Modified: Thursday, June 07, 2012 4:37 PM
Prices for plane tickets have risen 3 percent compared with last summer, but the cost of flights out of Lake Charles Regional Airport has not increased as much as in larger markets, an airport official said.
“We have seen an increase,” said airport Executive Director Heath Allen. “I don’t think ours has gone up that much because, generally, in smaller markets, you have higher fares anyway because you don’t have Southwest Airlines and low-fare carriers competing against the major airlines.”
In years past, more seats were available, and some airlines would increase fares so others would have to lower theirs, Allen said.
“What you see now is that with that capacity gone, when they put that increase in it actually sticks and everybody raises their fares up to that,” he said.
Lake Charles Regional has seen less of a price increase compared with larger markets like Houston.
“I haven’t seen a real big increase in Lake Charles, but it is a lot more noticeable in a market like Houston,” Allen said. “Where they usually have $200 fares — now they have $300 fares. It’s been less of a blow to us as far as increases.”
Allen said he is optimistic for the summer, especially due to United Airlines increasing its number of available seats.“United varies depending on days, but roughly five to six arrivals and departures,” he said. “American Airlines has two arrivals and two departures.”
Even though gas prices have gone down slightly, Allen said it will have a minimal effect on airfares for the summer.
Allen said, “It could have a small effect, but at as long as the airlines are able — they’ll put it toward their bottom line.”