American Express Global Business Travel has published its Air Monitor report for 2023, forecasting rising air fares on key business routes across the globe.

The report identifies airline capacity, inflation, the impact of foreign exchange rates and fuel surcharges as key trends driving price movements, adding that the sharpest rises in fares are likely to occur in regions which have been slower to reopen after Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Amex GBT said that routes between Europe and North America are expected to see modest price rises of 3.7 per cent, while intra-European flights could see stronger rises of 6 per cent in business cabins and 5.5 per cent in economy, “as airline capacity recovery lags behind the resurgence of demand”.

Greater capacity is forecast to limit North American domestic fare rises to around 3.4 per cent in business class and 2.9 per cent in economy.

But fares on routes between Europe and Asia are set to rise by 12 per cent in economy and 7.6 per cent in business cabins, while Australian domestic flights are forecast to see fare rises of nearly 20 per cent (19.4) in business class.

The report warned that “Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region have been slower to reopen after Covid-19 travel restrictions, and an increase in demand combined with relatively strong economic prospects could put upwards pressure on prices”.

Hong Kong has been one of the slowest to ease restrictions, with the requirement for international visitors to undergo hotel quarantine only having been removed in late September.

Commenting on the news Julie Avenel, vice president, global business consulting at Amex GBT, said:

“The volatile economic environment makes it challenging for travel teams to plan ahead. We want to equip our clients with the insights they need to build strong travel programmes.

“As consultants we want to go beyond travel with our clients, and help them anticipate changes in our industry, so this report also looks at trends such as sustainability and the future of work, and asks how travel teams can respond.”

The Air Monitor 2023 report can be read in full here.