Fares at Port Columbus below U.S. average


May 05--Airfares at Port Columbus remained below the national average late last year as fares across the country kept rising.

Port Columbus also continued to have fares lower than any other major airport in Ohio, while the smaller Akron-Canton Airport had even lower fares, according to data for the fourth quarter of 2010 released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Fares nationally rose by 5.2 percent from a year earlier, to an average of $308; the 5.1 percent increase at Port Columbus was close behind.

Ohio's two largest airports, Cleveland and Cincinnati, had higher average fares and larger percentage increases.

Cincinnati had one of the highest fares and biggest increases among the top 100 airports. Its average fare of $430 ranked fifth, behind Newark, N.J.; Charleston, S.C.; Fresno, Calif.; and Des Moines, Iowa. Cincinnati's fares increased 12 percent in a year, the eighth-largest increase in the nation.

Cleveland had the 18th-highest average fare: $374. Its percentage increase from the fourth quarter of 2009 was 6.2percent.

Akron-Canton, which gets most of its service from low-cost carrier AirTran, continued to have the lowest average fare in Ohio: $279. Dayton's average fare was $316. Both airports' one-year increases were between 3 and 4 percent.