Lufthansa: small businesses will boost rebound in business travel

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Lufthansa is optimistic about the return of small and medium-sized businesses to the skies as travel restrictions linked to the pandemic relax.

Indeed, the German flag carrier is already experiencing increased growth in the SME market as part of its overall business travel segment.

“Small and medium-sized businesses that will need this positive business travel experience to see their customers, to see their suppliers represent a larger share of our corporate customers,” Lufthansa Group CEO said last week. , Carsten Spohr, after the airline’s first quarter results. “This is the part that I’m quite optimistic about.”

Lufthansa and its sisters Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss rely heavily on business travelers commuting to Europe, across the Atlantic and Asia.

And while leisure travel will lead to this year’s recovery – led by “visiting friends and relatives” besides vacationers – business won’t be far behind.

Group CFO Remco Steenbergen expects companies to be anxious to swap Zoom calls for in-person visits, with demand for business travel increasing by the end of 2021 to come. transforming into steady growth to reach “at least 90 percent” of pre-COVID businesses demand for trips by 2025.

As its own COVID stimulus plans gain momentum, Lufthansa plans to repay billions of euros in aid from the German government ahead of the country’s federal election on September 26.

“We were one of the first companies to be saved by the federal government,” Spohr said. “We also want to be one of the first companies to pay back the rescue funds.”

Lufthansa also said this week that it is looking to cut annual spending by € 3.5 billion by cutting labor, office and other costs in a bid to bolster revenue as the industry of the journey begins to emerge from the pandemic.

David Flynn is the editor of Executive Traveler and a somewhat tragic traveler with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.



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