Former executive at Global Business Travel Association
- Domestic and international business travel outlook
- Impact of work-from-home technologies on business travel
- Corporate visibility and demand trends
- Factors that could accelerate or decelerate business travel recovery, including eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) technology
- 2022 outlook – competitive evolution and long-term market disruptors
Who were the pre-pandemic power users of business travel? Could you start with the top spenders and walk us down the line?
A key theme with business travel has been the potential impact from Zoom and the rise of work-from-home technologies. Which of the customer groups, from consulting down to pharma and bank, might rely more heavily on Zoom and work-from-home technologies in the future? On the other side, which have noted pain points with Zoom?
In your previous Forum Interview [see Business Travel Recovery – Outlook for 2021 & Beyond – 18 February 2021], you suggested about 60-65% of business travel was related to revenue-generating meetings, while the remainder is internal or other travel needs. Might the 60-65% tick up while internal figures decrease? How should we assess the business travel mix moving forward?
How might larger and smaller corporate clients differ when it comes to business travel? Are there any trends to highlight that might affect how they recover?
Are there any hard and fast figures to indicate a company’s annual travel spend pre-pandemic vs now? I saw a figure today from Amex Global Business Travel that transaction volumes were about 51% of 2019 business travel volumes and transaction value was about 45%. Does that 50% seem reasonable?
I know how you feel about Zoom, but what percentage of global business travel might be permanently lost as a result of the pandemic? It seems it’s almost none, but what percentage might be lost to work-from-home technologies? Understanding it’s a difficult question to speculate.
What data would you suggest using to ballpark a figure for how much business travel might be lost? How can our clients estimate that figure themselves?
What can our clients monitor to potentially indicate recovery? As an example, might an uptick in conferences or industry conventions be a leading indicator for stronger vs weaker recovery?
You mentioned Newark as an example of a business market to pay closer attention to. What other business markets should we track?
To play devil’s advocate, it seems you expect a slow recovery as people become more comfortable with travel, but what factors might decelerate recovery? What might interrupt the business travel recovery outside of coronavirus and variants?
Is there anything else to add about elevated energy costs generally or jet fuel specifically? What implications might that have on business travel recovery?
How might labour scarcity and pilot shortages affect the pace of business travel recovery?
How might the rise in private aviation and business jets impact business travel? Are private jets taking market share from commercial business travel or is it complementary? How should we think through that?
You mentioned airlines sometimes dabbling in business travel and I know Delta works with Wheels Up, but would you expect any similar partnerships or acquisitions from major carriers to offset any potential lost revenue?
How might eVTOL [electric vertical take-off and landing] impact business travel? It’s years away from certification, but how might these air taxis impact the long-term market for business travel?
Could you outline airline carriers’ initial reactions over the last two years? To what extent did airlines reconfigure cabins and reduce business seating or the number of seats on specific routes?
Do business travellers gravitate towards newer aircraft? How should we assess fleet renewals and all the aircraft orders we’ve seen recently? Would newer aircraft make a material difference on consumers’ carrier choice?
Major airlines have noted an uptick in leisure travellers paying a premium to fill the business class. How might that impact business travel demand? Would it lead to seat shortages, pricing spikes or perhaps unhappy business travellers? How should consider that dynamic moving forward?
Is any specific major carrier better- or worse-positioned? How are you assessing the competitive landscape?
You mentioned Southwest’s targeting of business customers, but who else might be an up-and-coming competitor to the majors? Is JetBlue’s Mint on your radar as potentially taking sizeable business travel market share? Which other carriers should we focus on as possibly having a bigger piece of the pie as we exit the pandemic?
You don’t anticipate many near-term impediments towards business travel, but what might be some of the longer-term market disruptors? What could have a material effect in 10 years?
What are the most important trends or topics to monitor about business travel recovery in 2022?
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