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GSA Commercial Airfare Contracts Save Taxpayers Billions

GSA # 10521

June 30, 2008
Contact:  Viki Reath, (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) today awarded one-year contracts, valued at more than $2.4 billion, to 12 airlines for 4,303 domestic and 1,199 international “City Pairs.” City Pairs are points of origin and destinations that form the basis for one-way ticket pricing for travel between the two cities. This provides federal travelers the flexibility to book travel one-way, multi-leg and round-trip airline flights to meet their mission. The awards are effective October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009.

“GSA, as the premier federal procurement agency, offers discount commercial airfares to federal travelers on official business for expected savings of more than $5 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2009,” said FAS Commissioner, Jim Williams. “GSA strives to consistently provide best value to federal agencies and the U.S. taxpayers. This valuable program would not be successful without the airline industries’ sustained partnership and participation.”

The number of City Pairs awards for FY 2009 is up 10 percent from FY 2008, with carriers providing more offerings. The average awarded fare has increased by 13 percent to $308.59 due to higher fuel cost, but the average savings has remained steady at 61 to 83 percent below similar, unrestricted commercial fares.  GSA awarded the contracts based on average flight time, price, service, flight distribution, number of flights, available seats, fully refundable tickets and penalty-free cancellations and schedule changes.

The following airlines were awarded FY 2009 City Pairs contracts:

Carrier No. of Routes  Estimated Value 
 Delta  1,553  $ 641,060,023
 American Airlines  1,352  $ 515,115,892
 United Airlines  1,136  $ 663,499,140
 US Airways  704  $ 317,710, 645
 Northwest Airlines  366  $ 130,094,719
 Airtran Airways  119  $ 47,318,048
 Alaska Airlines  115  $ 53,989,947
 Midwest Express Airlines  64  $ 15,035,122
 JetBlue Airlines  52  $ 9,777,202
 Frontier Airlines  28  $ 22,990,845
 Virgin Airlines  7  $ 7, 778,821
 Mesa Airlines  6  $ 3,384,360
 Total  5,502  $ 2,427,754,763

City Pairs airline fares are posted at


GSA provides a centralized delivery system of products and services to the federal government, leveraging its enormous buying power to get the best value for taxpayers.
• Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than one-fourth of the government’s total procurement dollars and influences the management of $500 billion in federal assets, including 8,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 208,000 vehicles. 
• GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 420 historic properties, and as manager of, the official portal to federal government information and services.
• GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.

Did You Know?  GSA developed the City Pair Program in 1980 to provide discounted air passenger transportation services to Federal government travelers.  The program has grown from 11 markets to more than 5,500 city pairs.   

Last Reviewed 2010-04-30