May 28, 2024

UK air fares falling, says Travelperk

UK air fares have stabilised but prices in Europe continue to rise, according to new data from Travelperk.

Analysis of booking data from its global customers in 2022 and 2023 found UK fares increased by just 1% year on year in the second quarter.

In comparison, prices in Europe are continuing to rise, with the price increases seen across Europe for the same period at 9%, and in particular, France (8%), Germany (11%) and Italy (43%)

Research showed that prices for flights departing the UK, based on average booking value, have remained at around £540 throughout Q4 2022 until Q2 2023. 

This is a huge improvement from Q3 2022, when the average airfare was £657, representing an increase of 127% YoY. 

Unlike the UK, average airfares for European flight bookings increased from €412 at the end of last year to €442 in Q2 2023. France sees one of the highest price peaks, €550 in Q2 2023 up from €496 at the end of last year.

Similar to the UK, US airfares have increased by only 1% year-on-year.

The US tapped into strategic fuel reserves, meaning flight prices have remained around $520 throughout Q3 2022 until Q1 2023.

Other trends identified include:

  • The average price of a train journey in the UK cost £90 in Q2 2023, representing a 12% YoY increase. While this is still cheaper than an average train ticket in France, which costs €127/£110, overall, train fares across Europe dropped significantly in 2023, even when compared to the same quarters in 2019.
  • In Europe, the average booking value for train tickets bought in Q1 2023 were 23% lower versus the same period in 2019, and Q2 2023 saw a decrease of 15% versus pre-Covid prices.
  • Average daily hotel rates in the UK hit £134 in Q2 2023, representing a 9% YoY increase, slightly higher than global average. Hotel rates in the US stand at $166, a 4% increase YoY; the average rate for a hotel in Europe stands at €155, a 4% increase YoY.

 Travel perk has also offered tips for lowering business travel costs:

  • Be flexible and consider all options. Inflation isn’t evenly spread, so take alternatives to the most in-demand routes and destinations. For instance, rail prices have increased less than flights, so that can often be a cheaper, and greener, option.
  • Consider alternate destinations for off-site. Some cities and countries are more impacted by energy inflation than others. This creates value in many alternative locations for events, conferences, and company off-sites.
  • Book early whenever possible. TravelPerk’s data shows that business travellers continue to book trips much closer to their departure date than they were pre-pandemic. There is a significant economic benefit to booking early and room for flexibility if something does arrive.

Jean-Christophe Taunay-Bucalo, Chief Operating Officer of TravelPerk, said: “The global business travel market has been influenced by pent-up demand post-Covid, energy price inflation from the war in Ukraine, and numerous strikes, cancellations, and travel disruptions. 

“And yet, TravelPerk is seeing prices in many verticals across the US, Europe, and the UK stabilise, down significantly from their earlier peaks in 2022.”