Airbus CEO expects business travel upturn -NZZ By Reuters

Airbus CEO expects business travel upturn -NZZ By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus, attends the Airbus annual press conference on 2019 results in Blagnac near Toulouse, France on February 13, 2020. REUTERS / Regis Duvignau / File Photo

VIENNA (Reuters) – Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury expects business jet travel to return to near pre-pandemic levels and airlines to dedicate the same space to business class seats than before, he said in an interview published on Sunday.

Air transport remains in crisis despite the acceleration of vaccine deployment in developed countries. With video calls having replaced in-person meetings, it remains to be seen how far business travel will pick up.

But Faury told Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that corporate thinking has changed.

“Businesses have realized that at some point they have to meet their customers and suppliers in person again. At some point, they have to be there to develop products or build factories, ”he said.

“This is what the airlines are telling us, as they have to decide now how their planes will be seated in the future. And we are seeing that they are planning as many business class seats as they were before the pandemic.”

Asked how many business flights he expects in the future, he admitted the industry may not make a full recovery.

“Maybe it will be a little less. One thing is clear to me: people want to get on the plane. Little more but also probably not less than before the pandemic.”

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