Corporate Traveller

Value remains in a dynamic business travel market

Graham 'Skroo' Turner

Managing Director - Flight Centre Travel Group

The world of aviation continues to evolve in the Golden Era of Travel.

The next 12 months are set to bring a myriad of new options and challenges for business travel decision makers. The current ceasefire in the domestic capacity war has seen airfares begin to increase from the rock-bottom levels seen in recent years.

Economic conditions have also had an impact on aviation in Australia with airlines responding to the slowdown in the resources sector by altering capacity on Trans Continental routes. A number of other market conditions will influence airfares over the next year including competition, customer demand and fuel prices.

All these factors present new obstacles for SMEs that are looking to get the most bang for their travel budget.

But there's good news on the horizon.

Research from CAPA and 4th Dimension shows inventory in cheaper airfare buckets is typically staying open up to five days out from travel. Secondly, at a time where full business and restricted economy fares are increasing in price, discount economy fares remain fairly flat. 

Low cost carriers are also boosting their offerings and are becoming a more attractive option for savvy business travellers. In terms of emerging trends, airlines continue to refine their business models and products with a view to attracting more premium customers.

Value is still readily available. Finding it in a dynamically priced market is difficult, which is where professional travel expertise delivers a significant edge.

While securing cheaper fares is always a priority, our research and experience tells us that price isn't the only factor in the purchasing decision.  Today's business travellers are looking for a marriage between savings and service.

Factors such as safety, security, good connections and ease of booking are still critical for selecting airfares. The re-emergence of customers who want traditional service touches that complement technological offerings has played a key role in how Flight Centre shapes its business travel offering.

We anticipate these trends to continue beyond 2016 and are proactively working with our partners to make our business travel solutions more inclusive.

Having trouble finding the best options for your business travel program? Our experts can help. Contact us now.