The number of business travellers flying internationally in premium cabins in and out of Australia has taken off as Flight Centre Travel Group’s Corporate Booking Trends* today revealed an increase in passengers at the front end of the aircraft that has exceeded pre-COVID levels in 2019.
Innovative internal data** identified an increase of over three per cent in the number of business travellers booking premium corporate fares internationally for Australia in 2022, when compared to pre-pandemic 2019, with more than a third of all bookings now flying in a premium class cabin.
“Business travel is bouncing back quicker than we could ever have imagined as the critical nature of face-to-face meetings comes to the fore – corporates aren’t waiting around to restart their travel programmes at home or abroad,” said Flight Centre Corporate ANZ Managing Director Melissa Elf.
“Corporate travellers are wasting no time in filling premium cabins and that’s leading to a shortage of business class seats on routes out of Australia in the coming months. Some carriers have no premium vacancies until well into the new financial year, such is the demand right now.
“Not only are business travellers returning to the skies in their droves, but they are also paying for the pleasure of being in a premium class cabin, with more than one in three now choosing to turn left when they board as opposed to flying economy.
“This increase is also based on a lower flight volume as capacity continues to return, so this tells us that more businesses are trending towards flying premium, internationally.”
Ms Elf said two of the top three corporate international destinations from Australia in the same time period were London and Singapore.
“London is one of the critical economic capitals of the world, so it really is no surprise that business travellers have flocked there in their droves, not only to see colleagues and suppliers, but to attract new recruits in an ever-increasing talent war world,” she said.
“For Australians, travelling into Singapore has been the most viable and most productive for travel internationally to take place, with Singapore being a critical hub for the rest of the world.
“Trade and business ties between Australia and Singapore are strong. According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Singapore is Australia's largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN and our sixth largest trading partner overall ($27 billion in two-way trade in 2020).”