Is business travel coming back? Eurowings thinks so


Eurowings is doubling its flights to business destinations from September 2021 and says it is seeing increased demand from business travelers.

After easing travel restrictions and vaccine rollouts helped boost leisure passenger numbers for many European airlines in the summer of 2021, all eyes are now on the months of September, October, and November to see whether business travel, which typically brings higher yields, will pick up. 

Eurowings, a unit of German airline group Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), sounded an optimistic tone in a statement on September 2, 2021.

“Most business travelers have hardly had any face-to-face contact with customers, business partners or international branches for a year and a half now,” Jens Bischof, chief executive of Eurowings commented in the statement. “These trips are now being caught up on – across Europe.”

In comparison with August 2021, Eurowings said it is therefore doubling flights that are typically classed as business routes, such as Paris, Rome, Brussels, Zurich or Vienna. As of now, it is flying twice a day to places such as Zurich, Copenhagen, Dresden or Bremen from key German airports in Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Cologne.

Eurowings said bookings for business destinations had doubled within the last few weeks, albeit from a very low level.

“For the first time since the start of the pandemic we are seeing business class being booked out on numerous flights – this is a clear signal that business travel is coming back after the end of the summer vacation,” Bischof noted. 

The chief executive of Scandinavian airline SAS said on September 1, 2021, that the airline was seeing an increase in corporate bookings, but the situation remained very uncertain. 

“September, October and November are traditionally bigger business months,”Anko van der Werff commented on a call with analysts. “We do see movement, we do see action, but to what extent?”

Given the uncertainty around business travel, SAS said it would have to fight more for leisure travelers

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