Missoula Airport Round-Trip Fares Dip Below National Average
For the first time in a long time, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics says the average round-trip fare at the Missoula International Airport is lower than the national average.
"It's been a while since we've been below the national average, so this is a nice trend that we've started," said Missoula International Airport Deputy Director Brian Ellestad. "The national average for this last quarter was at $3.95 for a round-trip and we were at about $3.68... so about a 14 percent reduction."
Ellestad says the dip in fares was likely driven by the addition of a new low-price carrier. That hypothesis will be tested this year.
"This is the first quarter that we had full Frontier Airline data," Ellestad. [Frontier] is a low-cost carrier to hub markets. What is going to be interesting is to see what happens. Frontier will be out of the market this first quarter of 2015, but then they come back in May, so we will see if we dip back down and then back up again in the summer. It will be an interesting case study."
Ellestad says the lower rates helped Missoula International Airport serve a record number of customers last year. The drop in price means that travelers saved over seven million dollars collectively.