Delta Air Lines Lifts US Fares By USD$10

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The latest US fare increase at Delta Air Lines could be a sign that domestic demand has reached its nadir, according to FareCompare, which compares prices for flights.

FareCompare data showed that Delta and its Northwest subsidiary boosted fares by USD$10 roundtrip on Thursday across the bulk of its US flights. A Delta spokeswoman confirmed the fare increase.

That increase, if broadly matched by rivals, would be the third successful domestic fare boost by US carriers in the past six weeks.

Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare, said the latest boost came after two successful US fare increases in June.

Delta, like other carriers, has cut the number of seats it sells to offset falling travel demand. It plans to cut international capacity by 15 percent starting in September, and recently offered its pilots voluntary separation packages in a bid to cut costs.

Seaney said even though US airlines were still discounting some prices, the success of the recent fare increases at Delta and other US airlines such as American could signal that domestic demand may have bottomed.

“This is a good sign for the airlines and it’s a sign to consumers that the honeymoon is over for the last months of wild and crazy discounting,” Seaney said.

(Reuters)