Flying out of Port Columbus was cheaper until now and the city enjoyed lower average airfares for long than those at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. This was because there was no dominant hub carrier here and Southwest Airlines offered ample service. But things started looking up for Cleveland Hopkins when United Airlines closed its hub there nearly two years ago. Media reports recently said that the average fares at Cleveland Hopkins have dropped than those in Columbus for the first time in a decade.
The federal data released lately also corroborated the fact that Cleveland’s average fare for Q2 2015 was far less than the average fares at Columbus. According to the data, the average fare at Cleveland Hopkins dropped drastically to a whopping 20 percent y-o-y.
David Whitaker, Port Columbus’ Vice-President of Business Development, said, “The fare numbers at Port Columbus doesn’t include that of low-cost carrier Allegiant Air which launched many successful routes out of Port Columbus’ Rickenbacker Airport. Keeping Southwest Airlines at the airport here is also helping to lower fares on some routes. Frontier Airlines is also planning to launch its flights services from in May 2016.”
The reports however said that the low fares have been coming with fewer destinations and less service. Even passengers are getting increasingly attracted to low fares now. This is despite the fact that low-cost airlines are continuously failing to offer the level of service usually demanded by the business travelers. Many low-cost carriers have also preferred to offer flight services to/from Cleveland Hopkins during the past couple of years. The prominent LCCs providing services to Cleveland include Spirit Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Frontier Airlines. All these carriers are renowned for offering lower fares in comparison to legacy carriers such as American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and others.
Travel experts say that the tradeoff is always witnessed when a hub is available, and the passengers are also accordingly benefited. However, when an airport is de-hubbed the business efficiency is severely impacted with the loss of nonstop flights. This also gravely affects convention and visitor business to a city as well.