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TRAVEL PRICING LOOKS SET FOR A SLOWDOWN


AFTER POSTING SHARP RISES in 2019, increases in global travel pricing are likely to slow down in 2020, according to CWT and the GBTA’s Global Travel Forecast. The sixth annual report predicts worldwide flight prices will rise 1.2 per cent next year, hotels 1.3 per


cent and rental car rates 1 per cent. The report says while the global economy is expected to grow 3.6 per cent in 2020, a “raft of


uncertainties” could put a damper on travel pricing. Looking at the regional forecast, the collapse of India’s Jet Airways in April created a gap in the market


for some key routes, and the reduced competition has meant higher air fares in Asia Pacific. However, with some airlines adding capacity to fill the void, fares have begun to normalise and will rise 1.3 per cent next year, according to the report. In Europe, labour unrest, climate change protests, global trade wars, rising oil prices and regional


terrorism all have the potential to cause a slowdown in travel pricing, with the forecast predicting a small rise of 0.5 per cent in air fares in Western Europe and a 0.2 per cent decrease in Eastern Europe. Hotel rates in both regions could go up 0.7 per cent, though ground transportation prices in Western Europe will only see a 0.5 per cent rise compared to 1.5 in Eastern Europe. Latin America’s volatile political and economic situation in some of the largest economies, such as


Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, will hurt prices. Air is expected to see a 1.6 per cent dip and hotel rates will drop 0.4 per cent. Growing demand for rental cars will push ground transportation prices up 1 per cent.


Norwegian CEO steps down


THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF NORWEGIAN AIR Shuttle, Bjorn Kjos, has resigned. Kjos had been at the helm


of Norwegian for 17 years and under his leadership the company has grown from a domestic carrier into one of the biggest low-cost airlines in Europe,


operating 162 aircraft.


However, Norwegian has struggled financially in recent years, owing to problems with Rolls Royce engines on its Dreamliner fleet, increasing competition and the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.


It lost £131 million in 2018, but it revealed recently that its performance is starting to improve thanks to a slowdown in growth and the decision to delay deliveries of Airbus aircraft.


Deputy chief executive Geir Karlsen will temporarily fill Kjos’ role until a replacement is appointed.


buyingbusinesstravel.com 2019 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 13


EDITOR’S LUNCH: Modernise your travel programme


LUFTHANSA AND BUYING BUSINESS TRAVEL are hosting an Editor’s Lunch in London on Wednesday 9 October. The event will explore how new distribution


channels and other booking platforms help travel buyers to better compare and select the right airfares for their programmes, covering areas such as personalisation, carbon offsetting and other CSR factors. n To attend this free event, email events@panaceamedia.com


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