Average U.S. air fare drops to lowest in six years

air fareAir fares haven’t buzzed this low since 2010, federal officials said Tuesday.

The average domestic air fare decreased to $361 in the first quarter of 2016, down 7.8 percent from $392 in the first quarter of 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

For a while there, airlines were banking profits on low fuel prices and not always passing along all the savings travelers thought they could. Now terrorism in Europe and other concerns are slowing traffic, clouding earnings and putting downward pressure on fares, analysts say.

The first-quarter 2016 fare was down 24.6 percent from the average fare of $479 in 1999, the highest inflation-adjusted first quarter average fare in the 21 years since the bureau began tracking such records in 1995.

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