VistaJet: ‘Future of business travel’ report

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VistaJet has found that 97% of respondents experienced negative impacts directly related to business travel restrictions. The business aviation operator conducted a quantitative study throughout April to explore the nature of the new business travel needs, the criteria for decision-making and how business travel in the future might look.

Matteo Atti, executive vice president, Marketing and Innovation, VistaJet said: “The Covid-19 pandemic upended our world, including travel. It also showed that some business travel is truly essential and having to forgo in-person trips came at a real cost to companies: any savings in travel budgets were exceeded by the cost of missed opportunities, sometimes worth several millions.

“The notion that private travel is the solution to the new fluidity in travel has become evident to most executives. The importance to be able to manage sudden changes in policies has taken centre stage,” said Atti.

Only 10% of respondents said their companies had not restricted business travel, versus 27% who said their companies allowed none.

Among respondents whose companies had restrictions on travel in the past year, virtually all – 87% had a massive or substantial disruption in at least one area of business. Also 24% indicated massive or substantial disruptions across all areas measured, specifically as a result of business travel restrictions.

Travel restrictions also reduced opportunities, with 37% saying development of international business and product launches took a hit because of a lack of in-person presence. A third of the companies saw missed opportunities (34%) and fewer deals closed (33%).

After a year of lockdowns, six in 10 respondents expect more in-person meetings in the future, compared with pre-pandemic levels. Among those who are intense users of private aviation, taking eight or more private flights a year, 60% plan to significantly increase in-person meetings, compared with 38% of total respondents. Additionally, 81% said business travel will be more important than ever to driving success. Ian Moore, chief commercial officer, VistaJet, said: “It is hard to read a room when everyone is in individual windows on a screen. Misunderstandings can occur, especially across cultures. And these, in turn, can become costly mistakes.”

The top reasons for executives deciding to make a trip, each with 34%, are visiting partners and vendors for strategic alignment and attending industry events and conferences. A similarly important category for in-person attention is relationships with clients, said VistaJet.

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