Amex GBT’s 2024 Air Monitor finds prices will stabilize on key routes

In its Air Monitor 2024, American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) reports that airfares look set to stabilize across key routes around the world; but noting that it expects marginal price rises, and some falls, on regional and international business travel routes.

Dan Beauchamp, Head of Consulting at Amex GBT, observed that: “Supply and demand are finding equilibrium as airlines add capacity and the leisure demand that drove record carrier revenues in 2023 softens.”

Beauchamp continued: “As we describe in Air Monitor 2024, air fares are set to stabilize with prices falling on some routes. But even as we see signs of moderation, the wider outlook is uncertain. Geopolitical tensions could spill over into the global economy, dampening already moderate growth prospects.”

Amex GBT’s 2024 Air Monitor reports that across all regions, airfare fluctuations reveal mixed trends – with a broad outlook of increased price stability in 2024. North America is expected to see minor changes in fares within the region (less than 1%) and to Europe (+0.3% business class, -2.5% economy), while airfares to Asia are projected to decline in 2024.

Europe fluctuations are projected to rise around 1%, with declines in prices between Europe and the Middle East (-3.5% business class, -2.8% economy) and South America (-3.9% business class, -10.4% economy).

A key takeaway from the report is that fares within North America should be stable. Business and economy class fares to many international destinations should fall in 2024 as capacity grows, welcome news to consumers and corporate travel programs.

Looking at the landscape in 2024, Amex GBT’s Air Monitor 2024 reports that airfares may be moderating across much of the world – but aviation is moving faster than ever. Airlines reported record earnings in 2023 resulting from robust demand, high fares, and a drop in the price of jet fuel.

However, leisure travel, which boosted 2023 revenues thanks to ‘revenge tourism,’ is expected to slow down in specific areas as consumer preferences fall prey to high interest rates. Simultaneously, rising oil and jet fuel prices since June 2023 are exerting pressure on carriers, and adding to the cost burden.

Negotiated corporate discounts are likely to come under pressure as airlines continue to prioritize yield management. During 2024, further adoption of New Distribution Capability (NDC) could impact corporate travel programs as airlines’ pricing strategies evolve and become increasingly dynamic.

Sustainability is expected to be a growing priority for corporations and travelers. Air Monitor 2024 underscores the impact of making modal shift from air to rail where feasible on competitive routes. Customers are reporting significant carbon emissions reductions where their travelers are switching from train to plane.

For the full report, click here.