Flying out of Knoxville is getting cheaper.
According to the the US Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), McGhee Tyson Airport has had the largest average airfare decrease out of the top 100 US airports for the first quarter of 2012.
In the latest BTS study, McGhee Tyson Airport saw a 9.5% decrease in average airfare in comparison to a 4.8% increase in airfares nationally. Consequently, McGhee Tyson Airport is no longer ranked among the 25 most expensive airports in the country.
"We are seeing a significant shift in average airfares at McGhee Tyson Airport due to airline route competition and the successful recruitment of low fare air carriers to our market," said Howard Vogel, Chairman of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority's Board of Commissioners. "By attracting new airlines and destinations, we have created competition and driven the average price of airfares down in our market. Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air are perfect examples of how low fare airlines can influence competitive airfares. Furthermore, these airlines also help to impact the bottom line for area businesses as well as traveling families."
"The dramatic decrease in airfares for the first quarter of 2012 continues the trend of lower fares that began with the arrival of Frontier Airlines at McGhee Tyson Airport in 2011. Frontier's low-fare flights connecting Knoxville with their Denver hub and nearly two dozen popular Western destinations like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Phoenix have dramatically reduced the cost of air travel for thousands of East Tennesseans," said Vogel. "Local support of our low fare carriers is vital to their serving our community. Without their presence, history has shown that airfares will rise."