The second-quarter 2008 American Express Asia Pacific Business Travel Monitor provides little relief to corporations struggling to keep control of rising travel costs. Asia Pacific published fares were up 3 percent overall quarter over quarter and 9 percent year over year. Fueling this increase were flights originating in Asia Pacific going to Intra Asia Pacific destinations that rose 5 percent quarter over quarter. Both full business class and full economy class saw increases of 3 percent quarter over quarter.
The American Express Business Travel Monitor, Asia Pacific tracks a constant set of roundtrip airfares, all originating in the Asia Pacific region with destinations throughout the world. More than 370 city pairs are included.
Kurt Knackstedt, head of Advisory Services for American Express Business Travel, Japan, Asia Pacific and Australia commented, “Economic pressures and the simple equation of supply and demand continue to force base airfares up, meaning corporations have to act smartly to keep travel budgets in check. Increasingly, companies view business travel as an investment in their business and are interested in doing everything they can to maximize their return. Many companies are still keen to travel despite rising costs, so they need to evaluate all aspects of their travel programs and work harder at finding reasonably priced options.
“One other outcome of rising airfares is that many companies are finally putting greater emphasis on encouraging and promoting traveler compliance with corporate travel policies. On average, 20 percent of travel and entertainment spend is out of policy so this represents a huge opportunity for corporations to regain control of the purse strings,” Knackstedt said.