The four big mergers in the US airline industry in the last decade have not caused the big increase in fares that many industry experts predicted. The four mergers – US Airways-America West in 2005, Delta-Northwest in 2008, Continental-United in 2010, and Southwest-AirTran in 2011 – significantly consolidated the US air travel market.
However, according to federal transportation data, average domestic airfares between 2004 and 2011 jumped by just 1.8 percent annually. This less than expected jump in airfares can be attributed to ever increasing competition and expansion of low-cost carriers such as Southwest, JetBlue, Frontier and Spirit.
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Airline mergers haven’t raised fares, report says