Business travel is likely to stay depressed as the airline industry begins its recovery from the pandemic. That’s the conclusion of a new report based upon a first-ever approach of assessing business travel by trip purpose, rather than industry category. The Journey Ahead: How the Pandemic and Technology Will Change Airline Business Travel is sponsored by global travel tech provider CarTrawler and was released today. The IdeaWorksCompany analysis estimates the frequency of different types of airline trips, predicts how that will change, and offers insights into how airlines can maximize new revenue in the future. Here are three key findings from the report: 1) analysis reveals a potential overall loss of airline business trips ranging from a low of 19% to a high of 36%, 2) travel for “sales activity and securing clients” is the largest category of business air travel (25% of the total); it’s projected to show a modest loss ranging from zero up to 20%, and 3) intra-company meetings comprise 20% of all business air trips, and are projected to decrease up to 60%.
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Airline Ancillary Revenue Plummets to $58.2 Billion in 2020, Erasing 5 Years of Annual Gains – Press Release
IdeaWorksCompany, the foremost consultant on ancillary revenue, and CarTrawler, the leading provider of online car rental distribution systems, project airline ancillary revenue will drop to $58.2 billion worldwide in 2020, compared to $109.5 billion in 2019. The CarTrawler Worldwide Estimate of Ancillary Revenue represents a 47% decrease, dropping slightly below the $59.2 billion amount for 2015. Earlier this year, CarTrawler and IdeaWorksCompany reported the ancillary revenue disclosed by 81 airlines for 2019. These statistics were applied to a larger list of 134 airlines to provide a truly global projection of ancillary revenue activity by the world’s airlines for 2020. This marks the eleventh year IdeaWorksCompany has prepared a projection of ancillary revenue activity.
The 2020 Datalex Big Book of Airline Data is a snapshot in time and is based on the 2019 reporting period. The 77-page document, sponsored by Datalex, is a significant undertaking with a review of nearly 300 airlines to find traffic, revenue, and membership numbers for inclusion in the report. The information is presented in multiple formats to create user-friendly access to the data. The first part of the Big Book contains passenger traffic results for 208 airlines. The second part of the report contains revenue results for 180 airlines. The final section provides membership data disclosed by 42 frequent flyer programs.
This annual publication, sponsored by CarTrawler, provides the best single source of information and intelligence on ancillary revenue, a la carte services, and commission-based travel products, for the world’s airline industry. Ancillary revenue for 81 airlines is presented as total revenue, a percentage of airline revenue, and on a per passenger basis. The results reflect 2019 disclosed financial activity and individual airline projections are offered for 2020.
CarTrawler-sponsored report encourages airlines to innovate and offers a 7-point checklist for building revenue during the pandemic and period of recovery. The essential elements of baggage policies and change fees had simple beginnings, but over time the quest for more revenue has created a structure poorly equipped for the COVID-19 era. In addition, the pandemic requires new sensitivity when developing revenue-producing plans. This report describes how this can occur for airlines in the categories of change fees, baggage policies, and the overall process of boosting airline revenue.
This CarTrawler-sponsored report offers recovery advice for the travel industry with examples from Emirates, Etihad, Hilton, Korean Air, United, and Xiamen Airlines. This report is written to help those working at airlines and in the travel industry sort through the issue of traveler confidence and how it can be restored. Individual airlines, hotels, vacation rentals, car hire, airport transfers, and sightseeing companies are already making decisions to ensure the safety of their customers, which will also increase traveler confidence in our industry.
CarTrawler-sponsored report focuses on post-virus consumer behavior and how airlines can best serve a travel economy in recovery. This report anticipates the changes that will occur as consumers return to airlines, hotels, and car hire companies. This report anticipates the changes that will occur as consumers return to airlines, hotels, and car hire companies. Here are some of the findings from the report:
- Southwest Airlines is among the most profitable airlines in the world, and has never charged change or cancellation fees. Making profits without these fees is possible.
- Weaker airlines will merge with others or simply disappear. Some hotels will close and be repurposed for other uses, or will sit empty waiting for travel to recover.
- “Safer close to home” will most certainly define the near-term psychology of leisure travel. Travel by automobile, passenger rail, and shorter flights will see the first indication of renewed demand, and this may occur in August 2020.
- Travelers will equate “rural and outdoors” with good health, and “crowds and public spaces” with higher risk.
- Protection against disease will become an expectation in the same manner that protection from terrorism has been built into the travel system.
Finding the Path to Fix Airline Retail
It’s hard to believe we are nearing the 24th anniversary of airline websites – Alaska Airlines sold the first air travel ticket online in December 1995. Fast forward to today, airline websites still promote two core functions: transactions and information retrieval. At present, airline websites are little more than cash registers surrounded by shelves of merchandise. This report encourages airlines to move from a transaction focus to become robust retailers of travel.
A podcast of this report has been recorded, and is available at Spotify and Google Podcasts. Click this link to listen on Spotify.
2018 Top 10 Airline Ancillary Revenue Rankings
CarTrawler-sponsored analysis shows ancillary revenue continues steady advance by every measure, and asks the question, can too much of a good thing be a bad thing? Every year IdeaWorksCompany searches for disclosures of financial results which qualify as ancillary revenue for airlines all over the globe. Annual reports, investor presentations, financial press releases, and quotes attributed to senior executives all qualify as sources in the data collection process. Of the nearly 150 airlines reviewed, 70+ reveal figures related to ancillary revenue.
IKEA Teaches Everything You Need to Know About Airline Retail
CarTrawler-sponsored report shows IKEA’s merchandising methods are also used by
AirAsia, Air New Zealand, Allegiant, easyJet, Ryanair, and Scoot. IKEA is not an airline, but it is one of the world’s master retailers. The company’s relationship with customers doesn’t depend on pushing transactions. Instead the company seeks to offer “products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.” It has become a global success because it first seeks to meet customer needs. IKEA Teaches Everything You Need to Know About Airline Retail was released today as a free 15-page report sponsored by CarTrawler.