Airfares across Asia Pacific on rise, India leads charge

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New Delhi, Mar 11 (UNI) Airfares across Asia Pacific continued their upward trend in the fourth quarter of 2007-- increasing by one per cent-- with India leading the charge recording a six per cent rise in overall domestic fares, a latest data shows.

Domestic discount economy fares were up 28 per cent and domestic full business fares 20 per cent in India, according to trends reported by American Express Business Travel.

In a Quarter-on-Quarter analysis, the India published fares were up six per cent overall-- up 14 per cent in domestic, two per cent in intra Asia Pacific, flat to Europe, West Asia and Africa, and flat to the America.

In the year-on-year analysis, fares rose seven per cent overall-- five per cent in domestic, nine per cent in intra Asia Pacific, 24 per cent to the America, and flat to Europe, West Aisa and Africa.

Australia, Malaysia, Japan and China recorded flat fares overall for Oct-Dec 2007.

The only noticeable change occurring in China was in discount business fares to the America which decreased by nine per cent.

The Philippines was the only country to record fares decreasing overall by one per cent.

Full economy fares to the Americas from Singapore dropped by 15 per cent. Major price reductions can often be attributed to special deals provided by certain carriers.

Thailand recorded decrease in fares to Europe, West Asia and Africa, down seven per cent for discount business and four per cent for discount economy. Overall fares were up one per cent.

''The first quarter in 2008 will likely give us a better indication of whether or not the economic conditions in the US will have had an impact on fares across Asia Pacific,'' says Mr Kurt Knackstedt, Head of Advisory Services for American Express Business Travel, JAPA.

''We are not expecting a slow down in business travel in Asia Pacific despite the softening global economy.

''In contrast to five years ago, the economies in the region continue to show strong growth indications. The conditions for travel suppliers should, therefore, remain favourable and we expect them to keep pricing aggressively,'' he says in a statement.

UNI YJ SG SSC1153

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