Sedgwick County...working for you

Finance

Affordable Airfares

REAPUnder the authority of House Substitute for Senate Bill 475 and the omnibus appropriation bill, Senate Bill 2968 , both enacted in the 2006 session of the Kansas Legislature, the Regional Economic Area Partnership (REAP) has established the Kansas Affordable Airfares Program (KAAP). The program is designed to provide more air flight options, more competition for air travel, and affordable airfares for Kansas.

"Kansas Affordable Airfares" helps provide more air flight options, more competition for air travel and affordable airfares in Kansas.
  • Keeps businesses and jobs in Kansas
  • Provides lower fares for ALL Kansans
  • Offers more flights to the east and west coasts
  • Encourages increased travel and tourism
  • Contributes to a competitive environment to attract new businesses
Airfares are AFFORDABLE
  • Overall, fares are down 24 percent since 2000
  • Airfares are now lower than Tulsa and Oklahoma City fares
  • Nearly $500 million in airfare savings since 2002
The state established the "Kansas Affordable Airfares" fund in 2006 to increase flight options and lower airfares through increased competition.
  • Investment in the Kansas Economy

  • Positive return on investment for public dollars

  • Growing Kansas - with nearly $500 million saved through affordable airfares since 2002, more money stays in Kansas

Since Wichita's original program began in 2002, fares have decreased while passengers and flights have increased.

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport

Mid-Continent - the largest airport in Kansas:

  • Served more than 1.5 million annual passengers in 2006, 2008 and 2010
  • More than 58 percent of passengers were from Kansas counties other than Sedgwick County
  • Five percent of passengers came from out of state
  • Seventy-five percent of the counties in Kansas use Mid-Continent Airport
  • Passengers have increased 23 percent since 2000

2010 Passenger Coverage Area

Mid-Continent Airport has recaptured 18 percent of its leakage since 2001, which means fewer people are driving to out-of-state airports and more out-of-state travelers are using Mid-Continent Airport.

If we lose our low-fare carriers:
  • Business and leisure travelers leave Kansas - Missouri and Oklahoma reap the financial benefits, as travelers take millions of dollars in travel and tax revenue with them to other states.
  • Airfares skyrocket - Air carriers still in the market raise fares as low-fare competition is gone.
  • Travel costs increase for both business and leisure travelers in Kansas.
Communities without a low-cost carrier:

Graphs showing a comparison of airfares to Denver and Atlanta from communities without a low-cost carrier compared to Wichita.

The Bottom Line

In order for Kansas businesses to compete globally, for families to enjoy the opportunity for affordable leisure travel, and to increase tourism, we must have a long-term strategy that makes Kansas’ Mid-Continent Airport competitive with Missouri and Oklahoma. Kansas air travel impacts us all.