Business travel’s recovery

by | Jan 3, 2023 | Airlines, Airports

Business travel’s recovery


London Heathrow reported that business travel has been “showing signs of recovery.”

The airport showed that business travellers made up 21.5 per-cent of its total passenger traffic in the third quarter of 2022. By comparison, in 2019 they made up 28 per-cent of total traffic.

In the report, Heathrow stated:

“Although demand continues to be driven by outbound leisure; inbound leisure and business travel are showing signs of recovery.”

During the pandemic, there were many predictions surrounding the future of travel, and, more specifically, the future of work-related travel. Some suggested that the prevalence of technology enabling people to work from home would make the vast majority of business travel redundant.

However, as highlighted by Heathrow’s report, this does not seem to be the case.

So why have these predictions not translated into action?

In March, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and CULTIQUE published a white paper positioning post-pandemic business travel in an interesting light. It was entitled Why business travel is the centre of the new company culture.’ 

The paper framed the pandemic as presenting companies with:

“The opportunity to reframe business travel from a transactional mechanism to a transformational tool. Viewing travel as an impactful way to refocus business goals and reinvigorate fragmented company cultures can jumpstart an organisation’s ability to thrive in these uncertain times.”

It listed five key takeaways:

  1. Travel fuels your corporate culture
  2. Travel incentivizes your workers’ wellbeing
  3. Travel drives your employees’ personal development
  4. Travel provides your employees with autonomy
  5. Travel showcases your company values

There is no doubt that the global pandemic has altered traditional working patterns. Many companies no longer operate nine-to-five, five days a week in the office. However, new working patterns have not necessarily transpired as predicted during the pandemic.

Undoubtedly, there are many factors behind the return of business travel. The white paper makes an interesting case for some of the benefits of work-related travel.

What do you think is driving the return of business travel?


Article by Jess Brownlow

Read about the new(?) business traveller.