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Airfares Increase For Third Consecutive Quarter

28 September 2004

Airfares Increase For Third Consecutive Quarter

Auckland, 28 September 2004 – The latest American Express Airfare Index for the Asia-Pacific region released today reveals increases in airfares on many routes, particularly those from Australia and Japan. Some modest increases were also recorded on routes from Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Taiwan.

According to Kyle Davis, Vice President and General Manager of Business Travel Asia Pacific Australia, American Express, the Third Quarter (Q3) 2004 American Express Asia Pacific Index results confirm First Class and Business Class airfares have continued to increase more rapidly over the past several years than those in other classes of travel.

“The market has seen airlines upgrade their premium products, reduce premium cabin seating numbers and differentially price this enhanced offering. Additionally, there is industry confidence in the long-term growth in passenger demand, which is reflected in a wave of new aircraft orders from a number of Asia-Pacific airlines.”

EFFECTS OF HIGH JET FUEL PRICES

Several airlines have increased published airfares in response to high oil prices, while others have only introduced a temporary surcharge which is not captured in the published airfare data. In most countries, the current surcharges are adding approximately 2% to 3% over and above the airfare increases recorded in this survey.

INDIVIDUAL MARKET RESULTS

First Class and Business Class airfares from Japan increased more than 4% this quarter and Discount Economy airfares from Australia increased 6%. There were some smaller changes in airfares on a number of routes from Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Taiwan. No significant changes were recorded in airfares in any classes of travel since the Q2’04 survey on routes from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore or Thailand.

New Zealand – Full Economy airfares from New Zealand increased 0.6% in Q3’04 from Q2’04 and Discount Economy increased 0.3%. First Class airfares increased 0.3% and Business Class airfares decreased 0.3%.

Year on year shows increases in First Class 0.5%, Business Class decreased year on year by 4.9%, Full Economy increased by 0.6%, and Discount Economy by 0.9%.

Australia – First Class airfares from Australia increased 0.6% in Q3’04, Business Class airfares from Australia increased by 0.9% in Q3’04, Discount Economy Airfares increased 6.0%, respectively; and Peak Season and Off Season Excursion airfares both decreased 0.8%, in Q3’04. Year on year increases for First Class, Business Class, Full Economy Class and Discount Economy fares were 2.9%, 6.3%, 1.2%, and 6.2% respectively.

Indonesia – Airfares were unchanged between Q3’04 and Q2’04 surveys.

Year on year shows the following increases: First Class 2.6%; Business Class 1.5%, Full Economy 1.4%; and Discount Economy 2.6%.

Japan – First Class airfares from Japan increased 4.4% in Q3’04, Business Class airfares increased by 4.3%, Full and Discount Economy airfares both increased 2.8%, and Peak Season and Off-Season Excursion airfares both increased 1.4% and 4.9% respectively.

Year on year shows the following increases: First Class 4.1%; Business Class 4.3%; Full Economy 2.8%; and Discount Economy 2.8%.

Malaysia – First, Business, Full Economy and Discount Economy airfares from Malaysia increased 0.5% in Q3’04. Year on year shows the following increases: First Class 7.3%; Business Class 7.3%; Full Economy 6.2%; and Discount Economy 6.3%

Taiwan – First and Business Class airfares from Taiwan have remained unchanged in Q3’04

Year on year First Class, Full Economy and Discount Economy showed decreases of 0.3%, 0.8%, and 0.6% respectively. Business Class increased by 0.5%.

India – Airfares were unchanged between Q3’04 and Q2’04 surveys

Year on year show increases as follows: First Class 8.2%; Business Class 7.0%; Full Economy 1.0%; and Discount Economy 1.0%.

Pakistan – First, business, Full Economy and Discount Economy airfares increased 0.5%, 0.5%, 0.5%, and 0.7% respectively between Q3’04 and Q2’04 surveys

Year on years shows increases as follows: First Class 0.5%; Business Class 0.5%; Full Economy 0.5%; and Discount Economy 0.7%.

Thailand – All airfares classes increased 0.1% between Q2’04 and Q1’04 surveys

Year on years shows increases as follows: First Class 0.1%; Business Class 0.1%; Full Economy 0.1%; and Discount Economy 0.1%.

Hong Kong – Airfares were unchanged between Q3’04 and Q2’04 surveys

Year on year shows increases as follows: First Class 0.4%; Business Class 0.5%; Full Economy 0.3%; and Discount Economy 0.5%.

Singapore - Airfares were unchanged between Q3’04 and Q2’04 surveys

Year on year shows there has been no change in First Class, Full Economy or Discount Economy airfares. There has been a year on year decrease in Business Class of 0.4%.

ABOUT THE INDEX

The American Express Asia Pacific Airfare Index is published every quarter as a guide to airfare changes and trends in the Asia Pacific region. It is produced exclusively for American Express by Access Economics. It tracks airfare activity in 165 city-pairs, all originating in the Asia-Pacific region, with destinations throughout the world. The airfares are surveyed from published airfares available for ticketing from the first day of the quarter.

As well as providing critical analysis of airfare trends in the region, the American Express Asia Pacific Airfare Index assists organisations to measure and keep track of their performance in terms of business travel expense management.

Each edition of the American Express Asia Pacific Airfare Index measures data across six fare categories including First Class, Business Class, Full Economy, Discount Economy, Lowest Peak-Season Excursion and Lowest Off-Season Excursion. The countries covered by the Index are Australia, Hong Kong SAR China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

CLASS DEFINITIONS

First Class – The lowest, generally unrestricted first class fare valid for simple itineraries eg a city-pair return trip.

Business Class – The lowest, generally unrestricted intermediate-class fare valid for simple itineraries.

Full Economy – The lowest, generally unrestricted economy class fare valid for simple itineraries.

Discount Economy – The lowest economy fare generally available to the business traveller. Seats may be limited and an advance purchase of up to seven days may be required. No minimum stay requirement. A cancellation penalty may apply.

Lowest Peak-Season / Off-Season Excursion – The lowest most restrictive fare valid during peak or low season, respectively. Fares may require advance purchase, minimum stay, round trip purchase and may carry significant change / refund penalties. (Peak and low seasons vary between carriers and countries). -Ends-

About American Express American Express is a diversified worldwide travel, financial services and network services company. Founded in 1850, it is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travellers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking. For more information about American Express, visit the worldwide web site at http://www.americanexpress.com.

ENDS

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