Warsaw, 25th February - This year, global expenditure on business travels should increase by 6.9 percent. Thus, the market value will grow to 1.17 trillion dollars – as reported by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The market leader is still USA. “In Poland, we have been witnessing some market growth since last year and it should continue this year”, says Michał Leman, General Manager, LOT Travel.
The business travel sector was one of those that suffered significantly from the global economic crisis. Its expenditures were among the first to be subject to budget cuts in companies. Additionally, most of the large companies were focusing on restructuring rather than development, which naturally translated into decreased travel needs.
According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) report, the hardship is gone. The key market - USA - was growing dynamically already in 2014, which resulted from an over 3 percent growth of the American GDP. The European market is gradually increasing, too, although at a slower rate.
“The American economic growth drives the business travel market. It is clear that American companies start to develop, need investments and new business partners, so they need to travel more, including travels to Europe. It is similar in Poland, but we are limited by the economic growth rate in the Eurozone, which is the source of most of the partners of Polish companies”, says Michał Leman, General Manager, LOT Travel.
The business travel market is recovering after the crisis, but it is unlikely to return to its previous shape. Corporate budget cuts resulted in changes to travel policies and rules, therefore large companies are not expected to restore the old habits. This caused a number of changes in airline offers. Throughout the crisis, a lot of carriers decided to create and develop a premium economy class - a product between a business class and a typical economy class.
Such business decisions have also been made at LOT Polish Airlines, including an introduction of Premium Class on long-haul flights, together with welcoming Boeing 787 Dreamliners to the fleet. In the middle of last year, LOT went a step forward by introducing the Economy Plus class to short-haul flights - an equivalent of Premium class on Dreamliners.
“The launch of premium products is a direct response to the needs of companies that want to cut costs but still find a reasonable way to provide management with higher comfort than economy class. This way they gain a number of airport privileges that enable them to save some time, such as a fast track. This doesn’t mean theta the business class will disappear. it still has reasons to exist, but not on all short-haul flights. If you intend to work during the flight, a free seat next to you can be very useful and comfortable. There is no pattern and it all depends on the needs, therefore an expanding offer is good news for our passengers”, emphasises Michał Leman.
New airline products are not the only changes on the Polish business travel market. The mode of planning and purchasing business travels is also undergoing changes. So far, most of the large companies have used the services of agencies, whereas now, more and more companies reach for electronic tools and filter the offers that comply with the corporate travel policy and are more budget-friendly, since there is no need to hire dedicated personnel.
In the small and medium enterprise sector, such tools are also becoming more and more popular. Moreover, such companies try to enter into direct agreements with carriers to obtain discounts, bonuses in special corporate programs or other complementary services.
LOT Travel Sp. z o.o. organises and manages corporate and individual customers’ travels and customises them to match their needs perfectly. We provide professional advice and a broad range of services at each step of your travel. We guarantee the best offer on all LOT flights and full access to the network of other carriers. Our advantage is a team of experts who will help you find optimal solutions, and the synergy with large service providers enables us to offer favourable conditions and affordable prices.
LOT Trave sp. z o.o.
39, 17 stycznia street