Summary of Airlines’ Business Travel Problem

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Airlines’ Business Travel Problem summary

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If you’re a business traveler, there’s one thing you could count on in 2020: Your favorite airline missed you a great deal. And, if you’re like most business travelers, you’re still not jetting off to business meetings because you’ve taken to Zoom and other digital means of business communication, they still miss you. A lot. In this Wendover Productions video, Sam Denby explains why airlines count on business travelers to plump up their razor-thin profit margins, and how air travel is likely to change post-pandemic.

About the Speaker

Wendover Productions is an educational YouTube channel started by Sam Denby in 2010. The channel has over three million subscribers. Denby’s other channels include Extremities; Half as Interesting; and Sam from Wendover.


Overall, air travel has nearly reached pre-pandemic numbers, but revenue is still far below 2019 levels. 

In China, air travel is up – the number of seats booked on airplanes has already exceeded those booked in 2019. In Europe, air travel is around 70% of 2019 numbers. The United States is at about 80% of 2019 numbers; in July 2021, the US transportation security authority (TSA) saw in excess of 63,118,000 air travelers through their security checkpoints. This number is lower, but not much lower, than July 2019’s 79,332,046 people. If those are the only statistics you knew, you could be forgiven for thinking air travel was on course for a full recovery.

Airline revenues are lagging, however, particularly for airlines that typically cater to business travelers. ...

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