FCM Consulting Releases Global Quarterly Trend Report for Q4-2023

Global Air Travel Capacity in 2024 Expected to Surpass 2018 and 2019 Levels, With North America Forecasted to See a 7% Increase in Seats Offered This Year

New York, NY (February 16, 2024) – FCM Consulting, a division of leading travel management company FCM, today released its latest Global Quarterly Trend Report, which provides an insightful look at forecasts for the year ahead and the key trends shaping the business travel industry. The report is sourced using FCM’s corporate booking data from the fourth quarter of this past year, between October to December 2023.

According to the report, the end of 2023 closed a milestone year for the industry, resulting in the busiest and least interrupted year for business travel in over four years. And with traveler confidence on the rise, the data suggests there will be even more trips booked in the year ahead, despite rising costs across the airline, hotel, and car rental market.

The report highlighted a key trend that is set to continue for 2024 – more seats with less flights – as global air travel capacity is expected to surpass annual capacity levels from 2018 and 2019. As a result of fleet configuration changes and shifts in schedules to meet demand, the global forecast for H1-24 is that there will be +97.9M (+3.5%) more seats and -2.1M (-5.6%) less flights offered, compared to H1-19. Regionally, the forecast for North America is predicting that there will be +7% more seats and 7% less flights offered.

It’s shaping up to be another big year for business travel with travelers eager to get back on the road and airlines expected to increase seat capacity, especially in North America,” said Ashley Gutermuth, Head of FCM Consulting, Americas. “And with the busy year ahead, it’s essential that travel managers prioritize communication in order to support their travelers and ensure they have a clear understanding of industry changes, which could also result in changes to policy.

Despite the increased seat capacity, businesses will still have to potentially reset their budgets as travel costs are projected to increase across the industry by approximately 3%. Based on a price analysis of 380 different city pairs across the world, global economy airfares were up $76 (+17%) and business airfares were up $246 (+15%) in 2023, compared to 2019. In North America, the city pair with the largest economy rate increase (33%) was JFK/New York – LAX/Los Angeles, while EWR/Newark – ORD/Chicago saw the largest rate decrease (24%). The city pair with the only business rate increase (11%) was JFK/New York – YYC/Calgary.

On the accommodation side, the average room rates (ARR) in North America increased to $250 (+$17) in 2023 versus 2022. Compared to the previous quarter, some of the largest rate increases in during Q4-2023 included Mexico City (+37%), Los Angeles (+36%), and Chicago (+12%), while Vancouver (-32%) and New York (-22%) saw some of the largest rate decreases. Overall, Q4-2023 saw just a 1% increase from Q3-2023 though, signaling a potential return to rate stability. Furthermore, occupancy levels, which were at 63% in 2023, also seem to have stabilized in North America as there was just 1% growth year-over-year.

The report also analyzed the car rental market and the global average daily rate (ADR) increased to $73 (+$20) in 2023 versus 2019. However, in comparison to the global level, the ADR for U.S. ($66) and Canada ($55) were each lower for the full year.

For more information on the FCM Consulting Global Quarterly Trend Report, please visit here.

About FCM

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 some of the most competitive 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


Media Contact

Scott Weiss – Flight Centre Travel Group

U.S. Director of PR and Communication – Corporate Brands


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