A myriad of fare increases and discounts were announced yesterday, with some airlines raising prices to offset higher fuel costs and others reducing them to entice customers.
In an effort to offset rising jet fuel cost, Northwest Airlines said it would increase fares 5.8 percent starting on Oct. 31.
But Eastern Airlines of Miami announced it would offer new fall weekend discount fares, which range from $79 to $129 each way for domestic travel from 13 cities, beginning today. Last week, Eastern announced it would raise prices 8 percent on full coach fares for tickets not purchased in advance.
Meanwhile, Houston-based Continental Airlines announced it would postpone an 8 percent fare increase that was scheduled to begin today and announced a Thanksgiving holiday deal -- buy a second ticket for a companion at half price.
American Airlines of Dallas announced yesterday it would match Continental's companion offer.
Since the start of the Mideast crisis, the spot price for jet fuel has jumped from about 57 cents a gallon to $1.42 a gallon, according to Aviation Daily.
Jackie Pate, a spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said the airline has not decided whether to match Continental and Eastern fares, but will review the move.
The soaring fuel costs and a sagging economy are also playing havoc with the Canadian airline industry, forcing aircraft sales, cuts in services and massive layoffs.
Air Canada, the country's largest airline and one of the country's two international carriers, last week said it would lay off 13 percent of its 23,000 workers by Jan. 31.
The country's largest charter airline, Worldways Canada Ltd., suspended operations last week, laying off 1,100 employees.