Question marks over the future of corporate travel post-pandemic | WARC | The Feed
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Question marks over the future of corporate travel post-pandemic
Views on the long-term effects of the pandemic on business travel are mixed, but, in a clear signal that things may not return to the old normal, Virgin Atlantic’s boss has warned the industry faces big changes – and quite possibly permanent ones.
The airline is planning for a reduction in corporate travel of 20% over the next two years, compared to pre-pandemic levels, chief executive Shai Weiss tells the Financial Times. And, while he believes there will be a recovery, he questions whether business travel will ever make a total recovery.
- Business travel makes up as much as 75% of revenue on some flights, according to PwC. While Weiss says he believes people are fed up with video conferencing tools like Zoom and Teams, Weiss says, airlines will inevitably feel the effects of the changes in the way people now work.
- One YouGov poll found 40% of those European business travellers surveyed said they would fly less often on business trips post pandemic. The chief executive of Star Alliance, the world’s biggest airline group, predicts a third of business trips will go; while others in the industry, such as Lufthansa and Delta, are much more upbeat about business passenger numbers picking up strongly once travel restrictions are lifted around the world.
- A surge in cargo flights has kept some 60% of Virgin Atlantic’s fleet in the air; but Weiss warns cargo alone will not be enough and that the threat to airlines from the loss of passenger traffic due to the pandemic will remain “existential” until passenger numbers pick up at scale.
“Will business travel return in the same way? No, I don’t think so. But do I think there will be a return to business travel? Absolutely!” Shai Weiss, chief executive Virgin Atlantic.
Sourced from the Financial Times
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