a person holding a bag in an airport

In recent times, the demand for business travel has been steadily on the rise. However, this surge in demand has come with a price tag, particularly in the UK and Europe. According to the latest report from FCM’s consulting arm for Q2 2023, the cost of flights and accommodation has seen notable increases, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. 

Flights Costs: 

  • In Europe, economy class airfares have increased by 17% compared to the same period in 2019, with business class fares rising by 15%. 
  • The steepest global increases were observed in Latin America, where economy fares jumped by 25%, and in the Middle East, where business class ticket prices surged by 29%. Globally, the average airfare for both classes rose by 18%. 
  • Popular routes to and from London Heathrow experienced significant price inflation. For instance, Dublin to London Heathrow witnessed a 12% increase in economy rates and a 26% rise in business class fares compared to 2019. Fares from London Heathrow to Madrid increased by 12% (economy) and 7% (business), while economy fares to New York JFK from London saw a 12% increase, while business class prices dropped by 7%. 

FCM’s data experts noted that these rate increases are due to factors like global inflation, reduced flight capacity, higher operational costs, and pent-up demand. Additionally, rising jet fuel prices are a contributing factor, with estimates suggesting further increases throughout 2023.

Accommodation Costs: 

  • Accommodation costs have also seen significant hikes in 2023. Average room rates in Europe increased by 12% during the first half of the year, amounting to an approximate $24 rise. 
  • North America and Latin America experienced more modest increases of 5% and 3%, respectively, in ARR during the same period. In contrast, Asia and the Middle East and Africa witnessed drops of 2% and 19%, respectively. 
  • Year-on-year demand for hotel rooms has surged by nearly 40%, reflecting the growing appetite for travel after the challenges of the past few years. 

In summary, as business travel demand continues to grow, costs for flights and accommodations have also increased. Factors like inflation, reduced flight capacity, higher operational expenses, and rising jet fuel prices are contributing to these price hikes. It’s essential for businesses to plan and budget accordingly in this evolving travel landscape. 

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