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Last Updated On: 10/19/2012

Business travel costs in India will rise next year, according to a recent survey by American Express' Global Business Travel Forecast 2013.

The folks at American Express Global Business Travel predict that India will see the highest fare increases in the Asia-Pacific region, of up to 8%.

American Express attributes the projected increase to volatility in India's air industry.

Besides India, the American Express survey finds business travel costs rising in Brazil and Russia reflecting companies' interest in doing business in these three regions.

For China, however, the survey sees decline in business travel demand and pricing that is flat to slightly down overall owing to a fall in exports, slowing construction and manufacturing sectors, and impact from investments in Europe.

China's high-speed rail will also put pricing pressure on both business and economy air travel segments in the country.

Hotel rates in the Asia-Pacific region are predicted to differ widely at both country and city levels. For instance, hotel rates in Shanghai suffer from excess supply, while demand is starting to outstrip supply in Beijing.

In India, demand for hotel rooms is starting to see an uptick in recent qurters after sluggish demand over the last couple of years.

In North America, steady trip demand and capacity discipline should boost Business class air fares by 1–3% for both short- and long-haul routes.

Short haul Economy fares is predicted to jump 2–4% while long-haul pricing will be flat at (-1)–2%.

Moderate occupancy growth in North America will drive hotel rate increases of 2–7% in mid-range hotels and 4–9% in upper-range hotel rates.

Overall, American Express Global Business Travel forecasts prices globally to increase only modestly.

Kingfisher Flights Remain Suspended

Flights at Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines continue to remain grounded.

Kingfisher's employees have been on strike for over four weeks protesting non-payment of salaries for several months.

Discussions between the striking employees and the airline's management to resolve the crisis have gone nowhere.

The struggling airline has extended the partial lockout until October 23, 2012.

Kingfisher Airlines expects to resume operations on November 6, subject to the company's resumption plan being reviewed and approved by the Director General of Civil Aviation.

Media reports from India suggest that Kingfisher is facing cancellation of its license leaving the fate of employees and the airline's massive debts up in the air.

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