Friday, October 02, 2009

Amex forecasts slow 2010 recovery

Airfares will go up around the globe next year as airlines pare their schedules and demand revives, but average hotel rates should fall in most regions, according to the American Express Business Travel 2010 forecast released this week.

American Express Business Travel said overall ticket prices would increase by up to five percent globally for economy class short-haul flights. Business class long haul fares are projected to increase by one to six percent.

After a seven percent reduction in business travel in 2009 in the Asia Pacific region, growth for the major countries serviced by American Express in the region is expected to be six percent in 2010 overall as much of the region escapes the protracted recession in North American and Europe.

Don't expect a strong 2010 recovery, said Frank Schnur, a vice president of American Express Business Travel.

"Companies now look at travel as less of a cost and more as an investment, with the same expectations on its return," Schnur said. "Travel is not office supplies."

Businesses have become more detail-oriented when employees are sent out to meet clients, and they're demanding new ways to scientifically track results, Schnur said.

An example of the "new normal" described by America Express officials is the new corporate travel policy for post-bankruptcy General Motors Co. It has shed its fleet of corporate jets, and unless an intercontinental flight is over eight hours, GM employees - except for top execs - no longer may fly business class.

Source : TravelMole
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