CVG fares now even with these local airports

HEBRON, Ky. – Fares at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport keep falling – albeit at a slower pace than in months past – and ticket prices now match those of some of its biggest area competitors.

An average roundtrip airfare at CVG cost $427 in the third quarter of 2015, according to the most recent Department of Transportation data out Tuesday. While that still ranks higher than the national average – which dropped to $372, its lowest level since 2010 – it's a nearly 20 percent drop and represents a price difference of $106 year-over-year.

Fares have fallen steadily at CVG since 2013; average ticket prices, for example, have declined in 10 of the last 11 quarters, and average airfare at CVG in quarter two 2015 was $436. It's a continued credit to the presence – and growth – of low-cost carriers Frontier and Allegiant, officials say.

When ranked among the top 100 largest airports in the country, CVG now sits as the 18th most expensive. It had held the No. 1 spot as recently as 2014. And while that's a bump up from the No. 20 position held in the previous quarter, CVG has virtually pulled even with both Dayton and Louisville in terms of average airfare. A roundtrip ticket at Dayton and Louisville airports in quarter three cost $427 and $426, respectively.

That should help in terms of leakage, or when passengers steer clear of their local airport, usually to take advantage of lower fares elsewhere, an issue CVG has worked hard in recent months to address.

While it's matched Dayton and Louisville, fares at CVG are still higher than Columbus, Indianapolis and Lexington. It also had the highest fares among peer airports nationally, or those with more than 1 million and less than 2 million originating passengers, like Milwaukee, New Orleans and Jacksonville, Florida. CVG had ranked fourth among those comparable airports in the previous quarter.

The latest report comes a month after the DOT released its quarter two results. Fourth-quarter 2015 average fare data will be released April 26.

Airport                                 Average ticket price
Indianapolis                         $374
Columbus                            $399
Lexington                             $422
Louisville                              $426
CVG                                     $427
Dayton                                 $427

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