Business travel recovery stalls as companies seek to cut costs and emissions

For now, leisure travel is making up for the decline in business customers, but some question how long this trend will last

Aug 14, 2023

The recovery in business travel has stalled this year amid record price rises for premium flights and growing pressure on big companies to cut their carbon emissions.

Key takeaways

  • Major airline groups in Europe have observed a slowdown in the rebound of corporate travel in their latest financial reports, while bookings for US airlines have remained stagnant over the past year.
  • On the other side of the Atlantic, the post-pandemic resurgence has generally surpassed that of Europe, but bookings for business travel on US airlines have remained at 75 percent of the levels seen in 2019 since the spring of 2022.
  • IAG, the parent company of British Airways, along with Air France-KLM and Lufthansa, have all indicated that bookings from corporate clients were at 60 to 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter, marking a decline from the first three months of the year.
  • The CEOs of Air France-KLM and Lufthansa have both conceded that a complete recovery in domestic business travel seems unlikely, with Air France reducing capacity on certain routes in response.

Get the full story at the Financial Times

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