It’s the other guy. It always is. While the general consensus is that things are slowing down, lots of travel companies are saying that their business is okay. We don’t question them, but if we had to make a choice between one truth and another, we’ll take the negative. Take for instance the survey just completed by UBS and reported by that bank’s airline securities analyst, Kevin Crissey. This found corporate planning. About 42% of the 80 managers surveyed said that their firm is likely to spend less on air travel this year. That compares to 26% just six months ago. And 34% of those surveyed said that their cuts are not yet fully reflected in airline results. Overall, 65% expect their travel spending to be flat or down this year. And IATA found that the slowdown had already begun to show up in world-wide airline traffic statistics, and that the US increase was largely on international routes.
Meanwhile, Expedia’s corporate travel unit has said no signs of any slowdown. “We continue to keep a close eye on corporate demand, particularly in the US, but as yet we’ve seen no signs of broad-based softness from corporate travellers,” says Expedia president and chief executive Dara Khosrawshahi.