GSA’s City Pair Program Saves Billions for Federal Agencies

Air travel program leverages government’s buying power, saves $2 billion annually

WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration awarded its Fiscal Year 2017 City Pair Program air travel contracts which will save the government approximately $2.4 billion next year. Under GSA’s City Pair Program, airfare rates for the federal government’s official travel are pre-negotiated and firm-fixed-price, offering a 51 percent discount on comparable commercial fares. In addition to offering considerable discounts, the City Pair Program allows the federal government maximum flexibility in how it books air travel, with benefits such as no cancellation or change fees.

Eight major U.S. carriers were awarded contracts. When awarding City Pair contracts to airlines, GSA considers a number of criteria, including availability of non-stop service, total number of flights, flight availability, average elapsed flight time, availability of jet service, and price of service. The 2017 rates will become effective October 1, 2016.

FAS Commissioner Tom Sharpe said:
“GSA’s leadership in the Travel and Lodging Category through the City Pair Program helps federal agencies by getting the best possible price for government travelers and passing those savings on to taxpayers. By leveraging the government’s buying power through the City Pair Program, for more than 30 years, GSA has helped federal agencies reduce travel costs and save billions. The City Pairs program is also a great demonstration of how the guiding principles of category management, when applied across government, can yield excellent benefits and results.”

Key Facts

  • GSA’s data-driven analytical approach to managing the program and negotiating with the airlines and carriers drives cost savings and program performance.  
  • Average domestic fares awarded remained constant at $225 from FY16 to FY17. Average international fares awarded reduced from $747 in FY16 to $724 in FY17.
  • The City Pair Program continues its global reach; with 9,103 total markets being awarded.   
  • FY17 utilization of the CPP fares projects an estimate of 18% below corporate best in class benchmarked fares and a savings of $425M against those fares.

For more information on the Airline City Pair Program or to view air fares, please visit Airline City Pairs.

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Last Reviewed 2016-07-29