BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
ExCeL London - 24-25 February 2021
Low end economy prices down 19.7%
The gap between buying business and economy fares in the UK is widening.
While some business class fares rose in Q2 by 1.3% year on year, some in economy fell by 19.7% in the same period.
The findings are revealed in the latest American Express Business Travel Monitor Europe (BTME).
It also said the European hotel industry was showing signs of recovery.
The Monitor found that in the second three months of 2009, companies were continuing to take advantage of corporate discounts offered by carriers in the cheaper economy classes.
Amex said this followed the same trend established in previous quarters.
The BTME said that at the high end of business class, fares went up 1.3% while those at the low end dropped "steeply" by 19.5%.
At the high end of economy fares, there was a fall of 11.7% in fares while those at the low end dropped by 19.7%.
Amex found that the gap was less pronounced in the rest of the EMEA region.
There the high end business class fares were down 5% year on year and those in lower business by 12.7%.
High end economy fares fell by 16.6% while those at the low end by 14.15.
Joakim Johansson, American Express Business Travel's up advisory services EMEA, said: "As business travellers scale back on the number of trips taken, coupled with tightened corporate travel policies, a downward pressure has been placed on bothbusiness and economy fares, but this is more pronounced in economy classes.
"At the top end of the scale, in high end business and economy classes, airlines have managed to contain the declines, and even increase fares on some routes.
"We continue to see business travelers changing their habits and choosing economy travel where possible rather than business Class, enabling companies to retain travel vital to the success of their business while cutting costs."
The BTME also found that the European hotel industry was showing signs of recovery with average daily rates (ADRs) increasing in 24 of the 49 cities tracked.
This included cities like Moscow and Abu Dhabi which are involved in the oil industry.
But hotels in financial centres like London and Frankfurt also saw "some recovery", Amex said.
The Monitor said that cities in manufacturing regions, like Dusseldorf and Stuttgart, and in Spain, like Barcelona and Madrid, were still seeing falls in their ADR.
Karen Penney, Amex global commercial card's vp business solutions, said: "We believe the start of recovery in the hotel industry is a direct result of the industry's proactive response to balancing supply and demand.
"For example many hotel chains have shut down floors, closed marginally profitable hotels, put a stop on new builds and postponed openings.
"Overall we expect the slowdown in hotel rate reductions to continue through Q3, with the first significant rises expected in Q4.
"The hotel market is still a buyer's market; however this window of opportunity may be closing.
"We urge travel buyers to take advantage of the current market conditions for 2010 rates while they can."