Knoxville airfares no longer among highest

042310allegiant2_jpg.JPGUPDATE: This post has been corrected to show that the average airfare nationally increased in the first quarter.

Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport is no longer ranked among the most expensive airports in the
 country, the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority said today.

In the first quarter, airfares at McGhee Tyson Airport dropped an average of 9.5 percent, according to the latest federal statistics.

That was the largest decrease in average fares among the top 100 airports nationwide, according the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The average fare nationwide increased 4.8 percent in the first quarter.

 Low-cost carriers Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air have helped  bring down Knoxville airfares.

“We are seeing a significant shift in average airfares at McGhee Tyson Airport due to airline route competition and the successful recruitment of low fare air carriers to our market,” Airport Authority Chairman Howard Vogel said in a statement.

“By attracting new airlines and destinations, we have created competition and driven the average price of airfares down in our market. Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air are perfect examples of how low fare airlines can influence competitive airfares. Furthermore, these airlines also help to impact the bottom line for area businesses as well as traveling families.”

BTS press release: 1st-Quarter Domestic Airfares