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BUSINESS Flying business class on long-haul journeys used to be the norm for many business travellers but now things are a lot more complex, writes Rob Gill CATHAY PACIFIC


othing is more likely to incur the displeasure of a business traveller than telling them their long-haul flight will not be in business class. But there have been plenty of conversations like this over the last decade between travel buyers and their travellers following the restrictions placed on flying “at the front of the plane” in the aftermath of the financial crash and subsequent recession of 2008 and 2009. With the world economy looking more 26

robust – the International Monetary Fund has upgraded its global forecast for economic growth to 3.6% for 2017 and 3.7% in 2018 – will this mean a return to those flatbed seats for long-suffering, long-haul business travellers? And what impact will this improved economic outlook have on prices for longhaul business class fares? Oil prices have been creeping up over the last year and fares may be going in a similar direction, so what can companies do to counteract this upward pricing pressure?

Long-haul outlook

Economic and aviation market conditions seem likely to lead to an increase in overall long-haul business class fares in 2018, according to the latest research. BCD Travel’s consultancy arm Advito forecasts prices in the sector will rise by an average of 1% next year due to rising demand and airlines undergoing only “cautious expansion”. But these increases will vary by region, with intercontinental fares in Europe and North America predicted to see the largest



11/24/17 10:45 AM

The Business Travel Magazine - December- January 2017/18  
The Business Travel Magazine - December- January 2017/18  

The multi-award-winning publication written and produced for bookers, buyers, arrangers and managers of business travel and meetings. This i...