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Boston to Philly airfares doubling

Southwest Airlines discontinues route

Round-trip airfare between Boston and Philadelphia is doubling as Southwest Airlines discontinues the route this week and once again leaves US Airways as the only carrier flying nonstop between the two cities

The lowest regular round-trip nonstop fare will jump to $520 from about $260, according to airline websites. Southwest will discontinue the Boston to Philadelphia route as of Saturday. Southwest has dropped five routes out of Philadelphia this year, including Manchester, Providence, Pittsburgh, and Jacksonville.

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“The flights weren’t performing up to our satisfaction, and we can be more productive and profitable shifting the aircraft to other routes,’’ said spokesman Chris Mainz.

US Airways declined to comment on the fare increase but noted that business customers like the airline’s 16 daily flights between the two cities. The airline is offering the flight for a few days in February and March for $220 for a round trip.

The 1 1/2-hour flight between Boston and Philadelphia has been a troublesome route for airlines, and passengers have paid the price. AirTran Airways, now owned by Southwest, stopped flying between the two cities in late 2007, sending the cheapest round-trip ticket soaring to $344 from $152.

The price climbed to $462 when Delta Air Lines pulled out in 2009. US Airways was the sole nonstop carrier on the route, charging a whopping $1,100 round trip, until Southwest entered the market in 2010.

JetBlue Airways, Logan International Airport’s largest carrier, declined to comment on the possibility of entering the Boston to Philadelphia market.

Boston-area passengers also have the option of taking Streamline Air, which flies nonstop between Hanscom Field in Bedford and Trenton-Mercer Airport, about 35 miles from Philadelphia, for as low as $200. Streamline Air, which has been offering service at Hanscom since last April, operates two flights a day during the week on 30-seat turboprop planes.

Katie Johnston can be reached at kjohnston@globe.com.
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