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Farecompare

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ATLANTA, July 17 (Reuters) - The latest U.S.

fare increase at Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) could be a sign that domestic demand has reached its nadir, according to FareCompare.com, which compares prices for flights.

FareCompare.com data showed that Delta and its Northwest subsidiary boosted fares by $10 roundtrip on Thursday across the bulk of its U.S.

flights.

A Delta spokeswoman confirmed the fare increase.

That increase, if broadly matched by rivals, would be the third successful domestic fare boost by U.S.

carriers in the past six weeks.

Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, said on Friday the latest boost came after two successful U.S.

fare increases in June.

Delta, like other carriers, has slashed the number of seats it sells to offset falling travel demand.

The Atlanta-based airline plans to cut international capacity by 15 percent starting in September, and recently offered its pilots voluntary separation packages in a bid to cut costs.

Seaney said even though U.S.

airlines were still discounting some prices, the success of the recent fare increases at Delta and other U.S.

airlines such as AMR Corp's (AMR.N) American could signal that domestic demand may have bottomed.

"This is a good sign for the airlines and it's a sign to consumers that the honeymoon is over for the last months of wild and crazy discounting," Seaney said.

The company's shares were down 4 cent to $6.08 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Derek Caney)

http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSN1747477620090717
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