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GSA City Pair Program Saves $1.2 Billion for Federal Agencies

Even with COVID-19 travel cutbacks, government “Best-In-Class” air travel program saves agencies more than a billion dollars annually

WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration awarded its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 City Pair Program (CPP) air travel contracts, which will save the government an estimated $1.2 billion next year. Under the GSA City Pair Program, airfare rates for the federal government’s official travel are pre-negotiated and firm-fixed-price, offering a 52 percent discount on comparable commercial fares. In addition to offering considerable discounts, the CPP allows the federal government maximum flexibility in how it books air travel, with benefits including no cancellation or change fees.

“Year after year, GSA’s ‘Best-in-Class’ City Pair Program helps federal agencies realize significant savings for our taxpayers by leveraging the government’s buying power,” said GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Julie Dunne. “Official travel has been reduced significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we expect that the GSA City Pair Program will continue to save taxpayer dollars and provide travel solutions to help agencies meet their missions.”

Eight major U.S. carriers were awarded contracts for FY21. 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 2021 City Pair fares are effective Oct. 1, 2020.

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 decreased to $216 in F21 versus $229 in FY20. Average international fares also decreased from $749 in FY20 to $740 in FY21.
  • The CPP continues its global reach with 11,936 total markets being awarded.
  • In FY21, 10,924 markets, or 91.5%, have the CPP's deepest discounted fare.
  • FY21 utilization of the CPP fares projects an estimated savings of $116 million when compared to corporate fares. 
  • The CPP contracts are negotiated annually and one of the largest government-wide contracts FAS awards. 
  • At a time of travel uncertainty, CPP fares offer valuable features that include: no blackout dates, advance purchase requirements, change fees, or cancellation fees.  

About GSA: The mission of GSA is to deliver value and savings in real estate, acquisition, technology, and other mission-support services across government. One of its four strategic goals is to establish GSA as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the government.

To learn more about GSA visit or join the conversation on social media at @USGSA, @GSAEmily, and @FAS_Outreach.