Business travel and business class occupancy in airlines will rise rapidly once the pandemic is under control, said HE Akbar al-Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive.
At a panel conversation with Guy Johnson, anchor, Bloomberg Television at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday, al-Baker noted, “Business travel will certainly come back. This is because businessmen like to face people… they like to feel people… and they like to notice the body language. They are people who don’t like to sit in front of a screen and do business.”
On the other hand, he said, “We have to look at business class… how we are going to fill (it). And to that, I can tell you business class product fills very quickly because there are people who are longing to travel. They are waiting for just countries to open.
“And where the countries are open, as a matter of fact, we have seen a 10 percentage points’ higher business class occupancy than we had during the pre-Covid period.
“So you can see that there is a demand, and it will fill. Most importantly, what we have to see is herd immunity…vaccination available to everybody so that the virus gets weaker and then people get comfortable to travel.”