WINDSOR LOCKS: The emergence of low cost airlines flying out of Bradley International Airport has driven down fares for Connecticut and western Mass travelers. According to a report by industry trade group Airlines for America, fares are the lowest they have been for nearly two decades.
The group says prices have been reduced by 11% [adjusted for inflation] since 2000 and the average one way fare from Bradley is currently $197.
Low cost airlines Jet Blue, and Spirit Airlines have been added to the Bradley line up in the past few years, contributing to the reductions. Spirit came to Bradley in 2017and flies to South Carolina and Florida and Jet Blue, which is expected to add more flights in the upcoming year began service in 2015.
“Connecticut travelers taking to the skies this summer are benefiting from continuously low fares in the region and increased competition from low-cost and ultra-low cost carriers that are flying to more destinations than ever before,” John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist for the group, said in a statement. “There’s never been a better time to fly and passengers should take advantage of these economic conditions to plan their summer travel.”
The air travel cost decreases are impacting fares regionally and nationally as well. The report says that Boston’s Logan Airport saw prices fall 35.5% percent since 2000. Nationally the group says that the inflation-adjusted round-trip ticket has fallen by 13 % in the past three years.
Air traffic is expected to increase 3.7% in 2018 and the airlines are increasing capacity to absorb the increase. In Connecticut Bradley has increased “seats” by 27% during the past five years.
Attempts by Bradley officials to add the low cost Norwegian Airlines for travel to Europe were set back when the carrier citing problems with Scotland’s taxing of their flights canceled service in January after just seven months.
Aer Lingus which is the only international carrier out of Bradley also markets itself as a lwo cost provider to Europe. Connecticut officials has provided up to $16 million of potential grants and incentives to Aer Lingus which offers flights to Dublin and beyond. In February the airline tapped $4.8 million of from Connecticut to subsidize its service to Dublin, when it didn’t meet its revenue targets.
Reaching the target may be a little harder with some Connecticut travelers forgoeing flights to Ireland’s capital city after the Dublin city council voted in April to boycott the State of Israel and demanded the Irish government expel Israel’s ambassador.