Organisations can expect higher airfares and fewer discounts offered by carriers this year, according to new research from payment company AirPlus.
Announcing initial findings from its sixth annual International Travel Management Study, the company said that 54% of 1,701 travel managers surveyed around the world expected to be able to secure corporate air deals in 2012, down from 59% in 2011. Those that had such discounts also felt that the average savings available through the air deals would fall – from 18.5% to 15.1%.
AirPlus CEO Patrick Diemer said that the study also revealed that 2011 was the busiest year yet for business travel. “Companies have never travelled as much before – even in 2008,” he said. “Our customers are faced with increasing prices for all categories of travel and suppliers are enjoying being able to charge more.”
Announcing the results, AirPlus UK managing director Yael Klein added that the average airfare from the UK rose by 4.1% and the average cost of a hotel stay by 4.9% in 2011. The average air fare in 2011 was £431, up from £414 in 2010. The average hotel price in 2011 was £193, up from £184 in 2010.
“UK businesses now believe they cannot afford not to travel,” said Klein, adding that 29% of UK travel managers in the survey expected trip numbers to increase this year.
The company also revealed that it had signed up 1,200 organisations to its debit card proposition, launched at the end of 2011. The AirPlus Debit Account is designed to help organisations avoid the credit card surcharges that are becoming widespread in Europe. Lufthansa group airlines and British Airways charge £4.50 for bookings made with credit cards, for example.To receive our free weekly round-up of all news stories from our site, click here
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