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LOWER AIR FARES ATTRACT RECORD NUMBERS OF PASSENGERS AT PORT COLUMBUS

 LOWER AIR FARES ATTRACT RECORD NUMBERS
 OF PASSENGERS AT PORT COLUMBUS
 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Average fares at Port Columbus International Airport were lower than air fares paid by passengers using airports in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton airports according to first quarter 1992 data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
 The first quarter report also showed that for the first time, the number of passengers who began or ended their flights in Columbus exceeded the Cincinnati airport. During the period, there were approximately 730,000 passengers beginning or ending their flights in Columbus -- a 14 percent increase over 1991. Excluding connecting passengers who only pass through an airport to change airplanes, Port Columbus has surpassed Cincinnati to become the second most popular air travel destination in Ohio. Only Cleveland reported more airline passengers bound for an Ohio city.
 The growth in passenger demand at Port Columbus can be collectively attributed to last summer's air fare wars and an increase in the number of non-stop flights due to rapid new airline expansion in the local market.
 Depending on their destination, Port Columbus passengers saved nearly half the average fares paid by passengers using other Ohio airports. For example, in the first quarter of 1992, the average one- way fare to Boston paid by a Port Columbus passenger was only $127 compared with the average fare of $241 from Cincinnati and $210 from Cleveland. The average fare paid from Dayton to Boston was $204 in the same quarter. In a city-by-city comparison, average fares at Port Columbus were lower in nine out of the ten most popular destinations of Columbus travelers.
 "We are indeed encouraged by the trend of lower fares at Port Columbus. This airport is served by all of the country's major airlines. No one carrier has more than a one-third share of the market here, and the competition between airlines has helped to keep fares low compared with surrounding airports," Larry Hedrick, executive director, said.
 "Columbus' location, the availability of flights and choice of airlines combine to offer travelers convenience and savings," Melvin L. Schottenstein, chairman of the Columbus Airport Authority, said.
 "Port Columbus is fast approaching a record-setting year," Nawal Taneja, local aviation analyst, said. "In 1991, there were 3.44 million Port Columbus passengers. As of the end of September, there have been 2.92 million passengers to date. Airline passengers living in surrounding communities have discovered the convenient service and low fares at Port Columbus, and those travelers are driving in to catch flights at our airport. As a result, Port Columbus may well exceed last year's total number of passengers and set a new record high," Taneja said.
 Projections call for Port Columbus to exceed 6.9 million total passengers by the year 2000. "This data is important to airlines when considering Columbus as a viable hub location," Schottenstein said.
 -0- 10/21/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Charts depicting the number of passengers and air fare comparisons are available from the Columbus Airport Authority/
 /CONTACT: Christine Stern of the Columbus Airport Authority, 614-239-4010/ CO: Columbus Airport Authority ST: Ohio IN: AIR SU:


BM -- CL017 -- 3054 10/21/92 15:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1992
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