Air travel experts will address high Memphis airfares

(WMC-TV) - Even though Delta Air Lines is under fire for high air fares out of Memphis, the airline will not be at a special forum discussing the pricey fares.

Panelists from Memphis and across the country will be at Christian Brothers University Thursday to talk about high air fares out of Memphis International Airport.

Seth Kaplan follows the airline industry with his publication Airline Weekly. He said the price spike in Memphis airfare is a big one and it's becoming a trend all over.

"They've gone up 20 percent in a year. That's a lot but they've gone up almost everywhere and in fact, they've gone up more in some places that have a whole lot of low cost competition," said Kaplan.

Kaplan will be one of the panelists at the Memphis airport forum Thursday. He will be joined by Chip Barclay, president of the American Association of Airport Executives, Phillip Braden with the Federal aviation administration, Larry Cox, president of the Memphis Air Authority, John Moore, president of the Greater Memphis Chamber, and Kevin Kane, head of the Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

"The reason there's not more competition b/c nobody can make money much lower than where fares are right now," explained Kaplan. "The idea that Southwest Airlines is going to show up in Memphis and start offering $19 fares to everywhere, that just doesn't happen anymore."

Kaplan said if you compare fights out of Little Rock or Nashville, there is usually a connecting flight involved. Flights out of Memphis are usually nonstop.

He said the only way to bring down airfare is to lower fuel prices.

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