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Business Travel Flashlight: Business Travel Facts & Trends

Beijing, 01/06/2009

Business flights: recession steps up global early-bird bookings // Early-bird bookings now made 16 days in advance

Companies are placing increasing importance on early-bird deals when booking business flights. Nowadays, early-bird bookings are being made as much as 16 days prior to departure – which is almost 3 days more than the 13.2-day average advance booking period for global airline ticket purchases in 2007. This is a clear indication that the move towards early-bird bookings has been pushed ahead by the financial bottlenecks resulting from the global recession. These findings were made in the course of a market research study conducted by AirPlus, a leading international provider of business travel payment and reporting solutions.

Companies are increasingly favouring the advance purchase of flight tickets in an attempt to further reduce the costs of business-related flights. As a result, they are also tightening the reins on their employees as regards compliance with travel regulations, and are calling for more care to be taken in business travel arrangements.

This trend is particularly evident in the case of Business Class tickets. In 2007, business class tickets were purchased on average 6.8 days prior to departure. In 2008, in contrast, tickets in business class were booked on average 8.5 days in advance. At the start of 2009, this figure was even as much as 10.8 days. For flights in Economy Class, a similar trend was observed, with the global recession resulting in a change in flight booking trends within companies. Here, the advance booking period went up from 14.3 days (2007) to the current average off 16.6 days.

The AirPlus Business Travel Index is based on the annual evaluation of more than 12 million flight bookings made by over 32,000 enterprises worldwide.

AirPlus is a leading international provider of business travel management solutions. More than 32,000 corporate customers rely on AirPlus for business travel payment and analysis. The company’s products and services are sold across the globe under the trade name AirPlus International. The AirPlus Company Account is the most successful company account in the Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP). Further information can be found at


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