DURING the past year, airline ticket prices have dropped by as much as 50%worldwide because of greater competitionand efforts by airlines to reducecosts, the daily La Nación reported.The trend toward lower rates benefitscustomers traveling from Costa Rica. Around-trip ticket from San José to Miami,Florida, is now as low as $149, while thesame ticket a year ago averaged $350.Prices dropped despite soaring petroleumprices, which reached $55 per barrel,an all-time high, in 2004.Fred Thome, United Airlines’ managerfor Costa Rica, said market forces arethe principal reason for lower prices,since airlines around the world haveunsold seats. Also, low-cost airlines continueto increase their market sharethanks to cheaper tickets, a result of measuressuch as selling tickets without intermediariesand not serving food to passengers.Regional airline Grupo TACAannounced drastic price cuts in its ticketprices – as much as 50% – last year. Thecompany expects increased passengervolume to compensate for the reducedprices, vice-president Enrique Beltranenasaid (TT, Oct. 8, 2004).
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