Business Travel News 2/19/2021
Most business travel managers and procurement professionals aren't necessarily opposed to corporate requirements that employees be tested for or vaccinated against Covid-19 before allowing them to travel for business, according to a new survey of its members conducted by the Global Business Travel Association. Buyer respondents generally supported theoretical mandates by airlines that passengers receive a vaccine before travel.
About 40 percent of the 274 to 340 travel managers and procurement professionals polled (response numbers varied per question) by GBTA from Feb. 8-18 indicated they thought corporate mandates to be tested for the virus before employees would be allowed to travel would be good policy, and 39 percent thought likewise of a vaccine requirement. About 24 percent said a vaccine requirement would be bad policy, while 16 percent indicated a testing requirement would be. A little more than one in five respondents said they were "indifferent" to either question, while the remainder weren't sure.
Meanwhile, twice as many travel managers surveyed (56 percent to 28 percent) indicated that they supported airline requirements that any passenger must be vaccinated against Covid-19, once the vaccines "become widely available around the world." No carrier throughout the world has instituted such a requirement. The remaining 16 percent of travel managers surveyed said they were not sure if they would support one.
The survey is the latest in a series of monthly polls GBTA has conducted of its membership to gauge Covid-19 recovery sentiment. About 55 percent of travel manager respondents in the February poll indicated their travelers were "somewhat willing" or "very willing" to travel for business, up from 49 percent in January. About 17 percent said their travelers were "not willing" or "not willing at all" to travel, down from 24 percent in January.
"As vaccination programs ramp up globally, traveler and corporate confidence is starting to return," said GBTA interim executive director Dave Hilfman in a statement. "It is reassuring to hear so much discussion around business travel resuming and a change in sentiment from 16 percent to 25 percent of GBTA members and stakeholders who have resumed some domestic business travel in the last month."
That complexity and the risks that accompany it will be the core story for travel management throughout 2021.
The route will be heavily weighted toward premium travelers with the "highest proportion of premium seats" on a widebody aircraft operated by a U.S. carrier to London.