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GSA Awards Contracts for City Pairs at Record 70 % Discount

GSA # 9425

July 18, 1997
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231
or Jeffery Koses (202) 305-6670


Estimated Annual Savings is $2.65 Billion

WASHINGTON - The U.S. General Services Administration has awarded contracts to 16 airlines to provide discount air fares to government employees on official travel in 4,840 domestic and 933 international city-pair markets, which will save an estimated $2.65 billion.

The 1998 Government contract fares represent the highest number of city pairs with nonstop service and the earliest city-pair award to date. The awards were made on July 10 and are effective October 1, 1997 through September 30, 1998. The 5,773 city pairs will generate an estimated annual savings of $2.65 billion, $250 million more than for the same routes awarded under the previous contract. The weighted average discount from unrestricted fares offered to the general public is 70 percent, compared to 62 percent last year and 56 percent the year before.

In the evaluation criteria this year, considerable weight was given to the fact that customers had indicated a strong preference for nonstop service. Nonstop service was awarded in 1,543 markets -- 99.5 percent of all markets where nonstop service was offered. This is 107 more markets with nonstop service than were awarded last year.

Under the new contract GSA's customers will continue to enjoy "best-in-class" service and price. Even as private industry increasingly requires its travelers to purchase tickets at least 7 days in advance, stay over Saturday nights, and take circuitous routings, the government's contract fares continue to be unrestricted. These contracts are not subject to capacity controls, ticketing time limits, advance purchase requirements, and minimum or maximum stay requirements, or travel time limits or penalties.
Under the special contract rates, a one-way ticket from Boston to New York will cost $50; from New York to Washington, $49; from Los Angeles to Washington, $85; and from Chicago to Washington, $49. Discounts are generally more in larger markets.

Awards were made to the following airlines:


Carrier City Pairs Estimated $ Value
US Airways 793 215,022,842
Northwest Airlines 1,525 204,455,446
Delta Airlines 1,159 202,951,036
American Airlines 904 162,697,292
United Airlines 385 126,797,893
Trans World Airlines 313 68,048,522
Continental Airlines 302 53,030,172
Southwest Airlines 181 30,135,396
Alaska Airlines 77 29,169,235
Western Pacific Airlines 15 8,008,990
Atlantic Coast Airlines 27 5,546,987
Midway Airlines 44 4,502,931
Midwest Express Airlines 15 3,047,921
Reno Air 20 2,768,874
America West Airlines 8 2,207,940
American Trans Air 5 551,950

TOTALS: 5,773 $1,118,943,426

Each year, the U.S. General Services Administration's Federal Supply Service awards contracts for air transportation for travelers on official government travel under the city pair program. The contracts are awarded competitively based on the best overall value to the government. The best value decision is based on considerations of the type, distribution, and number of flights, the average flight time, and the offered price.
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