Air Charter Service (ACS) has seen global private jet business travel booking numbers for the first quarter of 2021 reach 76% of 2019 levels – exceeding its original forecast. This suggests that the recovery of business travel is progressing to such an extent that bookings could increase beyond ACS’s prediction of eventually resuming to 85% of pre-pandemic levels this year.
Following a devastating past year for the travel industry as a result of Covid-19, this higher than expected figure signifies an encouraging step in a better direction for business travel-associated industries. Whilst business travel bookings were at their highest in the company’s history at the start of 2020, booking numbers evidently dropped dramatically between April–June. At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, booking numbers dropped to as low as 27% of ‘normal’ 2019 levels but have since improved dramatically.
Andy Christie, Group Private Jets Director at Air Charter Service, comments: “At the start of this year, we predicted that numbers would return to approximately 85% of the levels of business travel bookings that we saw during ‘normal’ times in 2019 – so, not to its full extent. However, looking at Q1 figures, it is clear that we are actually on track to exceed this prediction. ‘Zoom fatigue’ is a real thing and clients are realising that Zoom is just not the same as face-to-face business meetings. We expect that non-essential meetings will not take place as often as they used to but business travel will continue to improve in 2021, as soon as restrictions on quarantine are eased and vaccines distributed more widely.”
“As for leisure travel, booking numbers for April 2021 have actually increased by 25%, when comparing to 2019 levels. As global travel restrictions are easing, this increase proves just how much people are keen to book trips abroad.”