Business travel set to slow: Amex

Business travel set to slow: Amex
By admin

Business travel growth in Asia Pacific has started to slow with airfares remaining flat and a significant number of Asia Pacific firms expected to tighten travel spend, according to new research by American Express.

The American Express Global Business and Spending Monitor warned 43% of regional firms expected to decrease spending on business travel this year, with only one third of senior finance executives anticipating an increase in expenditure.

It showed domestic airfares had risen just 1% year on year, as fares to Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 1% and intra-Asia fares were flat.

Dr Carl Jones, head of advisory services Asia Pacific, said the fare trends had been driven by continuing instability in Europe and slowing growth rates in certain Asian markets.

But a slight uplift in the US economy had seen fares to the Americas soar. Australian fares to the region climbed 12% driving up the regional average increase on the route to 2%.

“Carriers have taken advantage of the slight uplift in the US economy – recognising the opportunity for invigorated travel to the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Australian fares rose above the regional average, by 3% quarter on quarter and 14% year on year due to fuel surcharges and intra-Australia traffic demand.

“High fuel prices are here to stay and as domestic travel continues to be a priority for Australian businesses, this may continue to push prices up in the next 12 months, maintaining some level of fare growth,” he said.

However, he predicted fares would stabilise by the end of 2012 as domestic carriers respond to increased demand with additional capacity on key domestic routes.

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