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AIR FARES LOWEST SINCE 1980; PASSENGERS REACH ALL-TIME HIGH IN JULY

AIR FARES LOWEST SINCE 1980; PASSENGERS REACH ALL-TIME HIGH IN JULY
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Airline prices in July reached their lowest level since 1980, generating more than 38 million passengers -- the biggest month in airline history, the Air Transport Association said today.
 In July the average passenger paid 10.6 cents per mile, 11 percent less than the already depressed 1991 levels. Fares were sharply reduced by the airlines earlier this summer in an attempt to fill empty seats.
 Full coach fares, used mostly by business travelers, declined 25 percent in July, and discount fares, used primarily for leisure travel, dipped 19 percent as compared to one year ago.
 "The combined effect of the Gulf War and economic recession forced the industry to lower fares in an attempt to get more people back on airplanes," said Air Transport Association President Jim Landry.
 In spite of the record traffic generated, carriers still expect to post a loss in the third quarter, a period that is typically the industry's strongest. Losses have continued to mount since 1990 and have reached a staggering $7 billion for the last 2 1/2 years. During that time Eastern, Pan Am and Midway went out of business, and three more major airlines are operating under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
 "This devastating economic situation is further aggravated by our own federal government, which continues to burden the airlines with excessive taxes and regulations at the very time when the industry is struggling for survival," Landry emphasized.
 In response to the administration's call for a regulatory moratorium and other relief for the troubled U.S. economy, the industry recommended several initiatives designed to alleviate the burden, without affecting safety. "We submitted our ideas last winter, and so far the government has failed to respond or summarily rejected these suggestions," Landry said.
 -0- 8/25/92
 /CONTACT: William E. Jackman, vice president, public relations, Air Transport Association, 202-626-4172/ CO: Air Transport Association ST: District of Columbia IN: AIR SU:


KD -- DC014 -- 3102 08/25/92 14:53 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 25, 1992
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