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The Changing Landscape of Business Travel

by Walter 1. July 2009 13:08

The ongoing global economic downturn has affected nearly all major industries but the effect has been particularly devastating on the global airline industry which has been grappling with various woes like rising fuel costs, falling revenues and rapidly diminishing demand especially in the premium class of travel. In a recent forecast, the International Air Transport Association director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani estimated that global airlines would face a 12 percent decline in revenues for 2009.

These airline industry woes have affected all airlines and both the legacy carriers as well as the low-cost carriers have had to deal with this changing global economic scenario. While several low-cost carriers like the all-business class transatlantic services, EOS, Silverjet, and Maxjet have simply shut shop and disappeared into oblivion whereas many airlines have even dropped certain routes or reduced the frequency of service to certain destinations in order to combat revenue losses.

Business travel which is usually associated with the premium cabins of airlines has been especially badly affected by the recession as companies all over the world have gone into cost-cutting mode and have eliminated or altered their business travel programs in keeping with their new conservation mantra. A recent survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives found that more than 70% of corporations were in the process of cutting down on travel budgets by 10% to 20% this year. Additionally, companies such as AT&T have reportedly reduced business travel by 15% through the use of video conferences and web meetings while consulting giant, Accenture has begun the process of setting a network of video conferencing rooms at its various locations worldwide in an effort to limit business travel.

However in spite of all this, the general consensus seems to be that business travel is extremely essential to the conduct of regular business and cannot be done away entirely with especially in situations that demand interpersonal interaction across international borders or require specialized training which needs to be imparted. Some companies do in fact realize this and are currently leaning on their travel departments to control costs by procuring the best airline and hotel deals for their executives who need to make these essential business trips.

Airlines also realize that these business class travelers are their primary source of revenue and profit and need to be retained at any cost. In order to fill their planes and retain custom, they have resorted to offering fantastic discounts on tickets for their cabins located in the front of the aircraft. Recently British Airways had a 2-for-1 sale on business-class seats from the United States to London for travel between June 1st and October 31st, 2009. This offer was soon followed by similar sales from airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, and Continental.

Domestic and International air fares seem to change often and quite rapidly and even though currently corporate travel departments are being asked aggressively look for the best airline deals for their business travelers it is almost impossible for this personnel to be on top of all these fares changes all the time. This is where a partnership with a company like Fare Buzz which is a leading supplier of cheap business class fares would help immensely.

Fare Buzz has contracts with more than sixty domestic and international airlines and through these exclusive contracts, it can procure the ‘best’ business class airfares to almost any destination in the world. Moreover unlike other ordinary online discounters, the customer service desks at Fare Buzz are manned by experienced ‘live’ travel consultants who are on hand seven days a week to help you find the best airline and hotel deals. Moreover, you don’t even have to pay anything ‘extra’ to speak to a travel consultant at Fare Buzz who can even hold a ‘special’ fare for you for a period of 24 hours. So next time when the need to travel arises don’t procrastinate but pick up the phone and call Fare Buzz at 1-888-808-4123 for the best travel deals in the business.

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