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Business Travel Trends For 2024

The outlook for business aviation in 2024 is positive, with companies gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels of travel. This shift is being noticeable by a return to in-person work, a decrease in virtual meetings, an increase in airline revenues and private jet travel, as well as other factors, are having an impact across the world’s economy. These trends have the potential to create new job opportunities and support the growth of the business aviation sector.For those interested in staying up-to-date on the status of business travel, it’s crucial to keep an eye on key trends in the industry. As companies continue to adjust to the easing of travel restrictions, it’s important to stay informed so you can plan trips accordingly. Whether you’re booking a flight for business or personal reasons, it’s always wise to consider the latest trends and take the necessary steps to ensure a safe and successful trip.

Pre-Pandemic Levels Of Travel – But, Other Threats Exist

About 25 percent of companies, both large and small, say that they’re back to pre-pandemic levels of travel, with over a third more reporting to be fully recovered by the end of this year. And, while the risk of COVID-19 remains prevalent, with masking and social distancing requirements still in place in many areas of the world, things are much more relaxed. However, it is winter, and with localized outbreaks of things like the flu, RSV and bronchitis, it’s always important to remain vigilant against germs wherever you’re traveling.

Rate Of Virtual Meetings Continue To Drop

The shift towards remote work and virtual meetings during the pandemic has resulted in a decline in corporate travel. However, it appears that the fatigue toward virtual meetings is growing and there’s a desire to return to face-to-face meetings, some which require business travel. While remote work may continue to be a component of the professional landscape, the desire for in-person interaction is driving a resurgence in business travel.

Rental Car Rates Are Up

Because of a combination of factors, like reduced supply and increased demand, rental car prices have risen by 50 percent. As a result, many business travelers are choosing air travel instead, as it’s more cost-effective while saving time. The good news is that airfares have been steadily decreasing since their peak and many regional routes have become more affordable for working professionals. This provides an alternative to the higher costs of rental cars and offers a more efficient option for those who need to travel greater distances. 

Blending Business & Leisure

Business professionals all over the world are hopping on the fad of adding some recreational components to their business trips. For those with generous PTO packages, it makes sense to tack on some extra free days to the start or end of working travel dates. This idea of “bleisure” has become a great way for companies to give their employees some much-welcome flexibility and freedom. 89% of people plan to add personal vacation time to their business travel this year—many of whom will bring family and friends along.

Increased Issuing of Business Pilot Licenses

There were almost 9,000 new commercial pilot licenses issued in 2022, while the industry also saw an increase of certified flight instructors (CFIs) by 10 percent. The field is hiring at record rates, with thousands of positions available over the next decade, meaning the economy expects healthy levels of business travel in the near future. Additionally, executives and other professionals are now becoming pilots themselves in increasing numbers. That’s because the benefits of flying yourself to meetings can provide some hefty advantages for the small business owner or CEO.

Businesses Continue To Prefer Private Flying

The benefits of private flight can’t be understated – there’s simply no beating the full concierge-style experience. According to Flying Magazine, deliveries of new jets in 2023 are 17 percent higher than the previous year. Additionally, it forecasts the delivery of approximately 8,500 new business jets for a total of nearly $275 billion until 2032. Corporations, non-profit organizations, wealthy individuals and small businesses are seeing the investment benefit of owning or renting a private jet.

An Optimistic 2024 For Business Aviation & Travel

Overall, there’s an optimistic outlook within the business aviation industry this year, as companies return to pre-pandemic levels of travel and see a decrease in virtual meetings. The rise in airline revenues and growth of job opportunities for business jet pilots will support the growth of the industry. Of course, there’s always the ongoing threat of deadly viruses, increased rental car rates and the growing popularity of “bleisure” trips are among the many obstacles that businesses will need to navigate. Despite these challenges, the trend towards private flying continues to rise, with an increase in new business jet deliveries and increased issuing of commercial pilot licenses. There’s no reason to doubt that the future of business aviation is bright!