Economic growth is why more Indians are flying business class

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WEALTHY Indians are spending more on airline seats to international destinations, according to a report by The Economic Times.

A year-on-year comparison carried out every month since January by some travel firms revealed bookings in the segment jumped by up to 75 percent.

The report added that the increase in bookings is reflective of India’s rapid economic growth – the fastest among any other major economy.

A spurt in corporate travel has also led to more business class seats. John Nair, head of business travel at Cox & Kings told the publication: “The number of people who travel business class has gone up and this is a reflection of business confidence in the corporate sector.”

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“As a result, companies are more flexible and have permitted more senior management to travel business class.” He added that mid- and long-haul sectors with a minimum travel time of five hours make up the most of business class bookings.

Meanwhile, Manoj Samuel, executive director of Riya Travels said that there has been an increase in travels aboard Emirates, Etihad Airways, British Airways and Lufthansa.

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Many international flights have cut down their fares up 24 percent while their Indian counterparts have increased fares between 19 and 59 percent.

The report also pointed out that Indian carriers have been facing slower growth rates on the business class segment in domestic flights, as corporates decide not to spend on premium fares on short distance air travel.

Peter Kerkar, director at Cox & Kings, told The Hindu that India’s outbound travel market is predicted to double from four to eight million next year.

According to Media India Group, India continues to be the world’s tenth biggest business travel market, with a predicted growth of 10 percent this year.

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