CWT Solutions Group, the consulting arm of CWT,
has forecast that global average
ticket prices (ATP) for air bookings will drop to around US$673 by
April 2019, down just over 4% from February 2019 levels, as published fares
correct from the sharp increase seen in the first two months of
These findings are published in the third
edition of its bi-monthly Air Trends Report, which uses a proprietary algorithm to predict changes.
The global ATP climbed approximately 6% month-on-month in
January, and then a further 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
pushed up airfares.
“We foresee a continued upward
trend in the average ticket price through 2019,” said Christophe
Renard, Vice President of CWT Solutions Group. “One of the reasons
is that more airlines are 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. Post-booking price tracking tools can be an effective way for companies to
optimize the cost of expensive tickets before upcoming
Meanwhile, the usage of Online Booking
Tools (OBTs) continues to gradually increase as the main OBT
providers continue to improve the user experience, especially on
mobile apps. Efforts are also being made to improve the content available through these channels. At the same time, corporate
travel management teams are encouraging their travelers 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.
report also predicts that travelers’ advance purchase behavior
will worsen in over the next two months. Stricter enforcement of
travel policies as a result of year-end budget considerations and
belt-tightening saw improved advance purchase behavior 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, this is expected
fall to 43% in March and April.
“In order to keep a
handle on costs, travel managers are advised to stress the
importance of booking in advance, either as a message displayed on
the OBT or through targeted communications to individual
travelers,” said Renard. “It’s also important to ensure that OBTs
are properly set up to reflect the organization’s travel policy,
or to configure these tools with bespoke settings for each
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