Business travel is back – IndiGo shows 100% recovery in April and May

One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic has been the complete destruction of corporate travel. As businesses around the world have dealt with lockdowns and reduced revenue, online meetings have replaced physical travel. Many predicted that business travel as we knew it would never return. But in the middle of 2022, Indian Airlines is seeing surprising trends that people are increasingly traveling for work.

IndiGo refunds 100% of business trips

After two years of virtual meetings and discussions featured prominently in our work routine, it seems that corporations and businesses are becoming more accustomed to the idea of ​​work-related travel.


With restrictions almost universally lifted and the severity of COVID reduced, several organizations have moved their meetings and conferences offline. And the airlines are definitely not complaining.

India’s largest carrier, IndiGo, posted a 100 percent recovery in corporate travel in April and May and forecasts demand to exceed pre-COVID-19 levels. The Hindu quotes Sanjay Kumar, chief strategy and revenue officer for IndiGo, as saying:

“In the last two years there were no meetings, conferences and exhibitions, and now suddenly we see a huge number of these events that increase corporate tourism.”

IndiGo recorded a 100 percent recovery in business travel in April and May. Photo: Airbus

Kumar explains that the pandemic has also created a new travel segment, including those who used to travel by train but have since experienced air travel and now continue to use that mode of transport. These new travelers and MICE travelers (Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conferences and Exhibitions) are much larger than pre-COVID levels.

The rest are happy too.

It’s not just IndiGo that’s seeing business revenue growth. Go First also welcomes more corporate travelers than ever before. Prior to the pandemic, Go First typically saw 40 business travelers on its A320s, according to an airline executive. Currently, this average has risen to 45, and sometimes even to 50.

While busy trunk routes like Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Bengaluru remain constant cash cows for airlines, there is significant demand from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well, according to MakeMyTrip co-founder and group CEO Rajesh Magou. orders for corporate trips are issued from this segment.

Indiver Rastogi, President and Group Leader of Global Business Travel, Thomas Cook (India) and SOTC, says industries such as IT, consulting, banking and finance, global accounts and SMEs are the biggest booking drivers in this category. He adds that business travel demand is over 90% of pre-Covid levels and is expected to exceed that level by this quarter.

Corporate passengers make a big contribution to the overall revenue of an airline. Photo: Getty Images

What does this mean for airlines?


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