Air Trends Report by CWT Solutions Group

A bi-monthly forecast powered by CWT Solutions Group, the data and consulting arm of CWT.

CWT

Forecasting from March to April 2019
Released March 11, 2019

Global Trend Average Ticket Price

Global Trend

Average ticket price

The global average ticket price (ATP) increased 6% month-on-month in January, and 3% in February, to reach US$702. This was largely the result of airlines across the globe implementing new commercial policies and revenue management models, which saw an increase in published fares.

Looking ahead, we forecast that the ATP will drop to around US$673 by April, down just over 4% from February levels, as published fares see a correction from the sharp increase over the past two months.

That said, with more airlines looking to adopt IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard as a means to generate greater ancillary revenues such as seat selection and baggage fees, we do foresee a continued upward trend in the ATP through 2019.

Post-booking price tracking tools can be an effective way for travel managers to optimize the cost of expensive tickets before upcoming departures.

Global Trend economy class usage

Global Trend

Economy Class Usage

Multinational companies have gradually been changing their travel policies to allow their travellers to fly Premium Economy, which is now offered by many carriers. This is contributing to a reduction in the usage of Economy Class.

After a gradual decrease of 1% from November to January, Economy Class usage remained stable at around 90% of total tickets booked in February. However, we expect it will increase by 1% in March and remain flat in April.

Global trend advanced booking usage

Global Trend

Advance Booking Usage

Stricter enforcement of travel policies as a result of year-end budget considerations and belt-tightening saw improved advance purchase behaviour in December, and this carried over to January and February with around 47% of tickets booked more than 14 days prior to departure.

With companies now relaxing travel restrictions, we predict that this will fall to 43% in March and April.

Travel managers are advised to proactively communicate the importance of advanced bookings to their travellers, either as a general message displayed on the OBT or through targeted communications.

Global trend online booking usage

Global Trend

Online booking tools usage

The usage of Online Booking Tools (OBTs) continues to gradually increase following the digitalization efforts of the main OBT providers (including mobile apps), to improve the user experience. Efforts are also being made to improve the content available through these channels. At the same time, corporate travel management teams are encouraging their travellers to book through OBTs and mobile apps.

OBT usage was stable at around 48% globally in January and February, after a 6% increase from October to December. It is forecast to rise again in March and April, with more than 50% of all bookings expected to be made through OBTs for the first time ever.

It’s important for travel managers to ensure that their OBTs are properly set up to reflect their organization’s travel policy, or to configure these tools with bespoke settings for each market.

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