FCM Consulting Releases Global Quarterly Trend Report for Q3-2023
Business Travel in the U.S. Continues its Resurgence with Airline Seat Capacity Expected to Significantly Rise in 2024
New York, NY (November 22, 2023) – FCM Consulting, a division of leading travel management company FCM, today released its Global Quarterly Trend Report, which provides an insightful look into the current state of business travel, the key trends shaping the industry, and forecasts for the year ahead. The report is sourced using FCM’s corporate booking data from the third quarter of this year, between July to September 2023.
According to the report, the demand for travel continues to increase across the world. And while the growth has leveled off just a bit since the rapid surge in travel that took place in late 2021, the overall costs of airline tickets, hotels and cars seem to have stabilized of late. Going forward, the data suggests that travel budgets and business travel will again increase in 2024, pending economic conditions and geopolitical issues.
In the U.S., the business travel demand has especially been evident when analyzing the passenger load factors (PLF), which measures the percentage of an airline’s available seating capacity that has been filled. Reported by the IATA, the global PLF continues to rise, now at 84.6% for the quarter. The domestic PLF is 83.5%, with the U.S. leading all major markets at 84.5%. The international PLF is 85.4%, led by North America at 87.7%, the highest performing region.
“Through our report findings, we have seen that North America is leading the globe in many key areas including airline seat growth, passenger load factors, and general travel heading into 2024,” said Ashley Gutermuth, Director of FCM Consulting, Americas. “With an increased focus on travel budgets for next year, we continue to work with many businesses throughout the industry to develop new ways of managing costs.”
In terms of seat capacity, the final global forecast for 2023 is -2.2%, compared to 2019. However, the forecast for Q1-2024 is that there will be 5.3% more seats (+71.8 million) compared to the same period in 2019. The regional forecast in North America is expected to even be a bit higher, at +8% for Q1-2024.
On the accommodation side, hotel occupancy levels averaged 68% per month in 2023. Furthermore, corporate average room rates (ARR) have plateaued over the past six months, signaling a return to rate stability. In North America, the ARR decreased $10 (-4%) in 2023 from Q2 to Q3. New York and Chicago saw some of the biggest rate drops in the U.S. during this time, 6% and 3% respectively.
The report also analyzed the car rental market and the global average daily rate (ADR), which increased by 4% in 2023 versus 2022. The global ADR forecast for 2024 is that rate increases will stabilize to +2-3% in 2024. With an ADR of $66 in 2023, the U.S. is one of the few major markets that had a rate decline (-1%) this year.
For more information on the FCM Consulting Global Quarterly Trend Report, please visit here.
FCM is one of the world’s largest travel management companies and a trusted partner for thousands of national and multi-national organizations, including many household brands, Fortune, and FTSE 100 companies. With a 24/7 reach in over 100 countries, FCM’s agile and flexible technology anticipates and solves client needs supported by expert teams who provide in-depth local knowledge and duty of care as part of the ultimate personalized business travel experience. As the flagship corporate travel arm of Flight Centre Travel Group, FCM is able to deliver the best market-wide rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive solutions for its clients to support their business travel requirements.
A recognized leader in the travel tech space, the company has debuted several proprietary client solutions over the last 12 months including a new omnichannel platform featuring a "first of its kind" customized end-to-end user experience and FCM Booking, an innovative option to traditional OBTs. Alongside its travel management services, the company also provides specialist services through FCM Consulting and FCM Meetings & Events to service the broader needs of its clients. Discover the alternative at www.fcmtravel.com
Scott Weiss – Flight Centre Travel Group
U.S. Director of PR and Communication – Corporate Brands