Airfares rise with gas prices

SEATTLE — Alaska Airlines and its regional sister carrier, Horizon Air, announced Monday they are raising ticket prices, saying they need the extra money to make up for skyrocketing jet fuel prices.

One-way fares on Alaska Airlines' routes along the West Coast, within most of Alaska and between southeast Alaska and the Lower 48 states are going up $5. The increase is $10 on longer routes in the United States and to Canada and Mexico.

Horizon Air is raising one-way fares $5 on long routes in its regional network — between the Northwest and California and Nevada. The increase will also apply to Horizon flights that connect with flights on Alaska Airlines.

The price hikes took effect Monday.

With crude oil prices up more than 50 percent since this time last year, jet fuel has become the largest single expense for Alaska Air Group Inc., the Seattle-based parent company of the two airlines.

Oil prices have risen $10 a barrel during the past two weeks alone, which would add $100 million to the Alaska Air Group's annual fuel bill if prices remain at current levels.

"Like other businesses, we need to offset at least some of our increased costs," Bill Ayer, Alaska Air's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

Together, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air fly to 92 cities, primarily in the Western United States, Canada and Mexico.

Shares of Alaska Air Group rose 82 cents, or 3.4 percent, to close at $25.20 on Monday.

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