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Business Courier:  CVG's low-fare winning streak hits a new milestone

Cincinnati Business Courier / Chris Wetterich / October 20, 2021

As recently as 2015, the average fares at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport were the highest in the nation, even as the airport had started to attract ultra low-cost carriers that would eventually solve a problem that had sent travelers to Dayton and other nearby airports.

Now, with the new report from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, CVG has reached its fourth year in a row as the lowest-fare airport in the region, besting Dayton, Indianapolis, Columbus and Louisville.

CVG’s average airfare during the second quarter of 2021 was $280, below the $300 national average. It had the 76th-highest (or 25th-lowest fares, depending on how you want to look at it) in the United States out of the top 100 airports by passenger count.

CVG’s average fare in the same quarter in 2020 was $220, not adjusted for inflation, a number impacted by the pandemic’s decimation of air travel.

Dayton now has the sixth-highest average fare in the nation at $361.

In the Midwest, only the two Chicago airports and Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport had lower fares than CVG.

CVG’s passenger traffic is between 75% and 80% of what it was compared with 2019. Two new air carriers, Alaska and Sun Country, began service at CVG.

In other airport news:

  • CVG reopened its east-west runway, the most used one at the airport and officially known as Runway 9/27. The $69 million project, of which three-fourths was paid for by the Federal Aviation Administration, started in March and was scheduled to last six months. It included new asphalt, concrete and lighting updates. Aircraft operations will return to its normal patterns.
  • CVG also opened its new rental car and ground transportation center to the general public on Wednesday. The airport held a ribbon cutting for the $175 million facility last week.