Monday 12 April 2021 7:00 am

Vroom to Zoom: UK business travellers to cut flying after pandemic

A majority of UK business travellers will fly less often when pandemic-related travel restrictions are lifted, a new survey from YouGov has found.

As a result of the widespread adoption of videoconferencing technologies such as Zoom, 56 per cent of travellers said they would cut down on corporate travel.

That’s the highest percentage of any of the seven countries where the survey was conducted. Across Europe, the corresponding figure was 42 per cent.

Nearly half – 49 per cent – of UK respondents said that the shutdown of air travel had had no impact on their working lives, while six out of 10 said that if given the choice between air and rail travel they would choose the latter.

Most airlines expect corporate travel to be the last element of the aviation jigsaw to slot back into place when the pandemic is over.

Despite rapid strides made in the rollout of vaccinations across the globe, the consensus is that air travel will not return to pre-Covid levels until 2024/25.

The survey, which asked 1,414 business travellers across seven countries their opinions on business travel, also highlighted growing environmental concerns.

62 per cent of UK business travellers think jet fuels’ tax-free status should be ended, while over 50 per cent said that governments should legislate for airlines to decarbonise their operations.

In Europe, the figures were the same. In France, ministers have made environmental conditions a central pillar of their bailout of Air France.