Companies tell executives to fly on smaller budgets
More companies in Europe and North America are telling their executives to fly more often – but with smaller budgets, aviation industry researchers agree. A survey of 624 frequent travellers by the consultancy Ascend concludes that companies on average are requesting a 1.5% increase in flights against a travel budget increase of just 1%. Only 61% of the business travellers surveyed said they travel business or first class on long-haul journeys, and more “suited travellers” are filling up the economy cabin. Within Europe, IATA says, there was a 3.5% year-on-year fall in premium-class travel this summer.
Meanwhile, a 2013 forecast by corporate client specialists Carlson Wagonlit Travel shows that fares are expected to rise around the world into 2013, even though travel budgets will continue to be squeezed.
And low-cost carriers are carrying more business travellers, who value choice of airport destinations and frequencies. easyJet says that the share of its passengers travelling on business is now around 18% and rising.
[photo courtesy SAS]