News and Research

Airline Comments On Business Travel Encouraging, But Ignore Some Realities

August 2, 2021


People travel for business for a number of reasons. Often, when people think of business travel, they equate this to sales calls or relationship building. This is a common and important reason, and represents the single largest category of pre-pandemic travel according to an IdeaWorksCompany report. Yet, this category still accounts for only 35% of business travel. This is the amount that best aligns with people going to back into offices and with companies trying to re-build relationships with their customers.  The same report shows that trade shows and conventions make up another 20% of the travel, as do intra-company meetings. The balance comes from professional services, IT/technical services, and commuting by air. The likelihood that each type of business traveler will return at the same rates is small. All of some categories may return in 2022, but it doesn’t seem likely that everything will. Return to offices, something highlighted by all four airlines, is not especially correlated with running trade shows and people wanting to attend them, for example.

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