“However, there is still demand for travel to Japan, particularly from Europe.”Meanwhile flooding and storms in Queensland have not affected the Australian market, with business class fare rising by up to five percent over the last year.According to the survey, the cause for steady growth in Australia is pinned to the careful management of seat capacity and oil prices.“The Australian economy is on solid footing, and increased competition to the Americas is boosting competition Down Under,” Dr Jones added. “Those competitive forces, however, can’t keep up with the pressures in terms of both supply and demand.” Airline fares across the Asia Pacific will be pressured upwards over the next twelve months, as business travel strengthens across the region.A CFO Research Global Business and Spending Monitor survey conducted by American Express found that while oil price and capacity demand created a strong year-on-year growth for the first quarter this year, rising number of business travel will continue to impact fares through the rest of the year.The research of chief financial officers at large companies in the region found that up to 57 percent of businesses will spend the same or more on travel this year, while 15 percent of that figure said they are likely to spend up to 10 percent more than the year before.“In the fourth quarter of 2010, we experienced a levelling in airfares, however, the data points to further expansion in 2011, with fares increasing one percent in the first quarter,” American Express Business Travel director of advisory services Dr Carl Jones said. Strong demand for high-end European products and services is driving greater fare growth to the region, particularly in Hong Kong, where fares to Europe, the Middle East and Asia climbed eight percent over last year.”Despite the Asia Pacific experience consecutive natural disasters during the first quarter, Dr Jones said fares, particularly to Japan will not “continue heading down in the long term”.“The tragic events in Japan have certainly had an effect on the market,” Dr Jones added. “Since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March, airfares to Japan are being slashed. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J.