Airline Deregulation:

Changes in Airfares and Service at Buffalo, New York

T-RCED-99-286: Published: Sep 20, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed changes in airfares and service quality at Buffalo Niagara International Airport since deregulation.

GAO noted that: (1) most communities in the United States, including Buffalo, New York, have benefited from a decrease in average airfares since 1990; average airfares for passengers travelling to and from Buffalo are lower today than they were in 1990; (2) those average airfares, however, are higher than they were in 1994, particularly for travel to or from cities within 750 miles of Buffalo; (3) by 1998, overall average airfares to and from Buffalo were 27 percent higher than those for comparably sized communities and nearly 29 percent higher than the nation as a whole; (4) since deregulation, the overall quality of air service, as measured by various quantitative (i.e., number of scheduled departures) and qualitative (i.e., availability of jet service) factors has decreased for Buffalo; and (5) for example, from 1978 through 1998, scheduled departures at Buffalo decreased by 11 percent while those at comparably sized communities increased by 83 percent.

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