Air travel is showing signs of recovery but fewer companies are splashing out for their employees to fly business class, according to the latest data released by business travel agency Hogg Robinson Group.
It claimed air travel bookings were up 3.2% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period of 2012 and the number of UK domestic bookings rose 4.3%.
However, business class transactions dropped 14.8%, with the decline particularly acute in Europe, it said.
At the same time, economy and low-cost carrier transactions on short-haul destinations rose by 1% and 4% respectively, suggesting a widespread shift in travel policy on these routes, said HRG.
On domestic routes, economy and low-cost fares were down 1% and 9% respectively, indicating business travellers may be swapping air travel for rail, and holding more meetings remotely, it said.
Belt-tightening is also extending to cabin classes on some long-haul destinations. …business class transactions remained flat with the majority of the year on year rise in air travel accounted for by economy and premium economy fares.
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