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Big-airline fare war unlikely to land at Yeager

By Rick Steelhammer

The Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — While some of the larger airlines are beginning to match, and even undercut, the fares of low-cost carriers on off-peak travel dates, the practice appears unlikely to happen any time soon at Charleston’s Yeager Airport.

The lowest oil prices in nearly seven years are being credited with allowing airlines like American, Delta and United to experiment with bargain-basement fares for midweek, nonholiday flights between major cities, from airports in which they compete with low-cost carriers, according to an Associated Press account that appeared in Monday’s Gazette-Mail. Those three airlines serve Charleston, as does the low-cost carrier Spirit.

“The larger airlines consider everyone a threat,” said National Travel’s president and CEO, Ted Lawson. “They’d like to make the smaller airlines go away, but airlines like Spirit, at Yeager, and Allegiant, at Huntington’s Tri-State Airport, are very good about playing the game and keeping their costs per mile very low. They can make a profit on a very low airfare. I’d be surprised to see the larger airlines trying to match their fares at Yeager. I think it would only work at major markets, where you had a lot of density.” …

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Reach Rick Steelhammer at [email protected], 304-348-5169, or follow @rsteelhammer on Twitter.


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