LONDON – April 6 2011. European Business travellers are turning to corporate business flights as a respite from the pressures of daily life, providing a rare opportunity to unwind rather than simply just a means to get to the next corporate meeting, according to a new survey commissioned by Delta Air Lines
When asked, the vast majority of business travellers in the UK (93 percent), France (94 percent), Germany (88 percent), and Spain (91 percent), place a high value on being pampered by the in-flight crew before settling down to the latest movie or good book during their flight.
The survey, which was conducted by international market research firm ComRes, asked travellers about their habits and choices when it comes to flying, including the use of technology and their booking preferences.
“The survey results highlight some of the key trends for Europeans flying for business purposes,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president Europe, Middle East and Africa. “More than anything else, it indicates that travellers want to escape the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life and unwind on their flights. And when it comes to deciding which carrier to fly with, business travellers want a well-timed, frequent schedule at a competitive price and quality business class product offering.”
The most popular way to relax among survey respondents was reading (UK, 64 percent), (France, 63 percent), (Germany, 72 percent), (Spain, 63 percent), followed by sleep (UK, 57 percent), (France, 56 percent), (Germany, 61 percent), (Spain, 56 percent) and watching a movie (UK, 56 percent), (France, 54 percent), (Germany, 44 percent ), (Spain 53 percent ).
The majority of travellers surveyed in the UK (72 percent) and Spain (62 percent) said the primary reason for choosing an airline is the ticket price. However, 61 percent of Spanish business travellers say that the schedule and network of an airline are also important. And business travellers in Germany and France cited schedule and network as their No. 1 reason (70 percent and 63 percent respectively).
More than half of business travellers across Europe prefer to book their tickets using online travel sites (UK, 71 percent), (France, 58 percent), (Germany, 64 percent ) and (Spain, 62 percent). The survey also highlighted how European business travellers are relying more on technology to further alleviate the stress of travel, turning in particular to smartphone applications such as weather updates and travel maps to support their trips.
“Business travellers are quick to adopt new technology to ease their travel experience and there are a number of useful apps now available,” Cantarutti said. “Delta launched its own travel app last year and is focused on driving a more convenient and efficient travel experience for our customers.”
Delta is investing heavily in upgrading the customer experience with $2 billion in enhancements planned through 2013. Delta is currently rolling out its feature 180-degree fully flat bed seats in a one-two-one configuration across Europe. This will give its BusinessElite customers direct aisle access as well as a choice of single seats for added privacy. By this summer, Delta’s trans-Atlantic flights will also feature Economy Comfort, Delta’s premium economy service.