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Flight Centre says corporate travel will return but 'with care'

Business

A survey of business has found executives needed to travel and would eventually get back into the sky but there will be increased onus on “duty of care”.

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The polling by Flight Centre found hygiene and safety are the dominant considerations.

The majority of companies who were polled were also rewriting their travel policies to reflect increased duty of care considerations post-COVID-19.

Flight Centre’s chief experience officer John Morhous said that two polls of customers were done with the results showing there was “an increasing sense of our clients needing to travel”.

“But while the situation around COVID-19 remains unpredictable, with possible second waves and local lockdowns, it’s clear that duty of care, hygiene and safety are going to be the dominant considerations for our customers going forwards,” Morhous said.

A total of 1600 business travel managers, bookers and travellers in Australia, New Zealand, EMEA, Asia, the Americas and India participated in the second poll, which was conducted in June.

The purpose of repeating the study within one month of the first poll was to enable Flight Centre’s corporate brands, FCM, Corporate Traveller, Stage & Screen, Flight Centre Business Travel and cievents, to gauge any shift in clients’ business travel intentions.

Asked to rank which triggers would prompt resuming business travel, easing or lifting border restrictions still came top with 93 per cent of respondents saying it had significant or some impact. However, the second trigger (89 per cent) was “our organisation deems it safe to travel and this is reflected in our travel policy’’.

In terms of changes to travel policy post-COVID-19, 59 per cent of participants said that traveller and supplier health and hygiene factors would be top priority.

Duty of care obligations ranked the second most dominant area for change (44 per cent of respondents).

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