Manchester’s airfares skyrocket

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MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – Airfares have been rising faster at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport than at others in the region, but some relief from the high ticket prices is expected by summer.

Between March and June, ticket prices rose nearly 18 percent in Manchester, compared to 12 percent nationally and 13 percent at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Higher fuel costs have helped push prices higher, but fares are expected to drop some as airlines add flights and seats. And airport officials note that the average cost of a ticket out of Manchester still is considerably lower than Logan’s average fare.

The average one-way fare from Manchester between April and June was $134, compared to $163 from Boston. But the cheaper flights sell out quickly.

Airlines, looking to operate more efficiently, have trimmed back the size of planes and number of seats available for Manchester, said Armand Hebert, owner of Ambassador World Travel in Bedford.

“Planes are smaller, so there’s less seats to fill, so cheaper-class seats sell out a lot quicker,” Hebert said.

Manchester had enjoyed an 11-year string of consecutive annual passenger records until last year, when the 3.9 million travelers using the airport represented a 10 percent drop from the previous year.

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