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Business Travel View - Post Labor Day

by Anjeeta 16. September 2009 19:15

2009 has been an extremely challenging for the entire travel industry as the recession has compelled most businesses and companies to rethink their travel procurement strategies. This has resulted in a sharp slowdown in business travel which has always been a money spinner for major airlines and hotel chains. The Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year predicted that overall domestic air passenger traffic was set to fall nearly 9% during 2009, while international bookings were expected to decline by 2.4% as companies were forced to make deep business travel cuts to grapple with the effects of the global recession.

Business travel which accounts for most first-class and business class ticket sales has suffered greatly from the huge cuts that companies have been compelled to make as they have tried to limit their employees travel or move this travel to the coach cabins for at least short haul journeys. Most companies however believe that business travel is a key element to their success as face to face meetings with suppliers and customers cannot be eliminated no matter how tough the economic conditions for business are. The personal touch is an essential tool of business which just cannot be replicated by advances in telecommunications and video conferencing technologies though a recent UBS survey of 61 influential travel buyers stated that average air spend this year, has declined more than 30 percent which has dealt a devastating blow to the business travel industry. Business travel is the icing on the cake for all major airlines, which have been affected the most by the cuts in travel budgets. If in 2008 the airlines were battling rising fuel costs, in 2009 they have to face the travel demand crisis which has even affected low cost carriers like Southwest which has seen a drop in business travel demand by nearly 25 to 30 percent for certain sectors.

The airlines have tried to aggressively combat travel demand crisis by slashing fares in order to sustain current load factors. These lower fares have extended even to international ticket sales as airlines like British Airways offered previously un-heard of deals for its business class cabin on its lucrative transatlantic route in the spring of 2009. This tactic was quickly copied by a whole host of airlines during the months of April and May which were particularly tough for the airlines.

This trend continued all throughout the summer as airlines tried to sustain their loads and avoid cutting capacity, for fares are far easier to manage when the upturn which typically follows a downturn begins. The US economy has in fact already begun to show signs of recovery as the Federal Reserve in recent days has cautiously averred that economic activity has stabilized and ‘firmed’ in almost all regions of the economy. This has also been reflected in the US stock market which has risen by almost 30% from the levels of historic lows which were experienced in the month of March 2009.

All this augurs well for the business travel industry which has begun to see a slight improvement during September 2009. In fact in a recent Topaz International survey of 260 travel buyers, a small number of buyers even displayed cautious optimism as they stated that they expected business travel spend for the rest of the year to in fact increase as the economy begins to turn.

In anticipation of this upturn, the British legacy carrier, British Airways which recently announced another fare sale across all its cabins for various routes, is all set to launch a new all-business transatlantic service on September 29th 2009 which will connect New York City’s JFK airport with London’s City Airport. This premium service which is aimed at time-pressed business travelers who have to travel frequently between the world’s most prominent finance capitals will initially launch as a daily return service which will increase to a twice daily flight from mid-October 2009. The launch of this new service at such a time indicates that the business travel industry is poised for a take- off yet again.

Most senior managers intuitively understand that employees have to be kept on the road even during an economic downturn as business travel is critical to their success for when business picks up once again they will have a vital edge over competition. If you believe in this school of thought and are looking at ways to cleverly minimize your travel spend, you should consider partnering with the New York City based travel company, Fare Buzz.

Fare Buzz is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of business class travel. The company has an exclusive relationship with over sixty domestic and international airlines and is able to procure cheap business class tickets for almost all worldwide destinations. Booking business class travel through Fare Buzz provides savings of over 70% as compared to tickets booked through regular channels. Moreover these Cheap Business Class Airline Tickets come with all the perks of a full priced ticket like mileage accrual and pre-assigned seats.

To effectively manage your travel spend and reduce airline, hotel and car rental costs, you need to align with a highly efficient and cost effective procurement agency like Fare Buzz which is equipped with a trained and knowledgeable staff who are on hand seven days a week to ensure that you get the very best travel deals to meet all your company’s goals of maximizing and effectively using the travel budget. Do call Fare Buzz at 1-888-808-4123 to speak to an agent today.

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