SOURCE: 1st-Air.Net

February 24, 2012 17:55 ET

1st-Air.Net Reports Fare Cuts Despite Equity Market Rally

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 24, 2012) - Despite a two month equity market rally, airlines have initiated widespread fare sales targeting premium cabin passengers. This move is unusual, as business and first class fares have historically been correlated to the equity markets performance. When equity markets rise, so do business class fares. When equity markets bottom, as they did in 2009, premium cabin fares also bottom. 1st-Air.Net initially reported on the "Buyers Market for Premium Travel" on February 27th, 2009 just days before the U.S. equity market reached its generational low.

In 2012, the correlation between equity markets and premium cabin fares appears to be temporarily broken. Surprisingly, the recent fare cuts are for March travel which is typically high season for business travel. Specific examples of the sales currently in place are as follows:

U.S-Australia -- All four carriers flying nonstop to Australia (Delta, Qantas, United and V Australia) have slashed fares by 33%. Business class fares from Los Angeles to Sydney currently start at $4,200 + taxes, compared with $6,388 + taxes in March 2011.

East Coast Germany -- Lufthansa has reduced business class fares between New York and Frankfurt from $3,999 + taxes in March 2011 to $1,686 for March 2012 travel. Not only have fares dropped by 58%, but the advance purchase requirement has been relaxed from 30 days in 2011 to no advance purchase in 2012.

London-U.S in First Class -- British Airways has cut its First Class sale fares by over 60% compared with 2011. The U.K. based carrier is offering First Class fares between London and New York from $3,249 + taxes for April 2012. Fares for the same trip purchased in 2011 started at $8,844 + taxes.

U.S- Ireland -- Aer Lingus launched a business class fare sale with round trip pricing starting at $1,972 for travel between New York and Dublin. Fares for the same trip in 2011 started at $2,952.

Even with the recent surge in oil prices, business and first class fares for March/April travel are significantly less when compared with March 2011. Fares for May/June travel are still elevated, but may need to be cut if carriers are unable to find support for the current fare premiums. Frequent international travel can capture downward fare moves as they happen by subscribing to Fare Monitor.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Mark Wahlen
    585-383-4470 ext. 4338