European Business Travel on the Rise
One of the factors reflecting Europe’s recovery from the economic crisis is the latest business-travel figures: in the first six months of 2010, the number of business flights taken by staff of European companies increased by three percent as compared to the same period in 2009. Moreover, the percentage of business travelers flying Business Class has also grown, from eight percent in January 2010 to 10 percent in June.
This figure was last reached at the end of 2008, before the economic slump. In total, companies in Europe spent seven percent more on flights in the first half of 2010 than they did in the first half of 2009. These figures are from the latest AirPlus Business Travel Index, a survey conducted by the leading international provider of solutions for business-travel management, covering the first six months of 2010.
More than 16 percent of all business flights were intercontinental
While companies cut back on domestic business flights by six percent, the number of tickets to European destinations increased by five percent. Intercontinental flights saw the largest growth: 24 percent as compared to the comparable period last year. In the first six months of 2010, 16.4 percent of all flights were intercontinental; in 2009, it was only 13.5 percent. The increase in Business Class tickets and intercontinental flights also upped ticket prices: in January 2010, companies in Europe paid an average of 508 euros, in June it was 554 euros, a nine-percent increase.
The first half of 2010 also saw an increase in train travel. European business travelers bought seven percent more train tickets than in the same period last year. The average price was 96 euros – unchanged as compared to 2009 levels. Hotel stays and expenses also went up for European business travelers, 13 percent for each category in the first half of 2010. Rental cars were used 18 percent more than in the same period last year, and expenses increased by 14 percent.
One out of three travel managers anticipates an increase in air travel
In a survey of travel managers in 20 business-travel markets, more than 33 percent expected the number of flights to continue to rise in the next 12 months. By comparison, in 2009, the crisis year, only 21 percent of Europe’s travel managers anticipated the number of business-related flights to go up. A surge in hotel stays is expected by 25 percent of the travel manag-ers surveyed; 20 percent believe that train travel will increase; and 14 percent anticipate more car rentals.
The AirPlus Business Travel Index is based on the analysis of more than 100 million business-travel bookings per year made by more than 33,000 companies worldwide.
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