Analysis: Small and medium companies to boost business travel rebound in 2023

Jan 18 (Reuters) – New York excavation contractor Brian Deetz doesn’t think airfare hikes will derail the flight deal, and airlines say small businesses like him won’t be able to do so by 2023. We believe this is contributing to the recovery of business trips in 2018.

Co-owners of family business Bob Dietz & Sons aren’t thrilled about fare hikes, but despite rising costs, economic uncertainty and a recent wave of flight cancellations, meetings and March I am planning to go to the trade fair.

When it comes to evaluating heavy equipment, nothing beats face-to-face. “I want to touch it, I want to sit on it, I want to manipulate it,” says Dietz. “Zoom can’t do that.”

Global airlines are expected to return to profitability this year for the first time since 2019, fueled by demand for leisure travel, according to industry group IATA. Demand is also expected from financial services firms and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) like Dietz, according to industry insiders and various surveys.

According to American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), booking activity by small businesses reached 80% of 2019 levels in the third quarter of 2022, 19% ahead of multinationals.

Business travelers often book economy class seats, but corporate travel is very important to airlines.

Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) recently said business domestic sales had recovered to 80% of 2019 levels, with business bookings on the busiest day since the pandemic began.

Small business executives were some of the first business travelers to return to planes after the pandemic-induced recession. Since then, it has emerged as the fastest growing segment of corporate travel, according to Amex GBT.

Amex GBT consultant Jeremy Quek said: “The recovery of small businesses has far outstripped that of multinationals.

Global business travel spending is expected to recover from 65% in 2022 to 80% in 2019 in 2023, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

According to GBTA, North America is expected to have the fastest recovery, growing 23.4% to reach $363.7 billion by 2026.

Average fares paid by Amex GBT customers on domestic flights show first and business class fares up 11% in the second half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, and long-distance bus fares up 4%. Did.

Strong demand in recent months, coupled with industry-wide capacity constraints such as aircraft delivery delays and pilot shortages, have allowed U.S. airlines to raise fares.

Dietz plans to fly premium economy for short trips and business class for long trips, traveling every other month.

He said the industry is waiting to see if it can avoid a repeat of this month’s Federal Aviation Administration outage and last month’s system meltdown at Southwest Airlines (LUV.N).

“Our time is precious,” he said.

Reporting by Allison Lampert, Montreal and Abhijith Ganapavaram, Bangalore; Editing by Ben Klayman and Bill Berkrot

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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