Demand for business travel is picking up significantly: compared to previous year, bookings at Eurowings rose by 60 percent in November. In relation to the summer months, current bookings are even twice as high. The current top routes at Eurowings include, for example, the European connections from Dusseldorf to Milan and Vienna, from Hamburg to London and from Stuttgart to Budapest. Among the domestic German routes, connections from Berlin to Cologne, from Dusseldorf to Berlin, from Stuttgart to Berlin and from Hamburg to Stuttgart are far ahead. This highlights a trend reversal: for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic, Eurowings is no longer recording a drop in demand toward the winter half-year – on the contrary: there is a revival in booking figures in the business travel segment.
“We see a rising dynamic in business travel across all industries. Travel is currently increasing in almost all sectors – also because the pent-up demand for face-to-face meetings is very high,” says Eurowings CEO Jens Bischof. Many managers are starting to build up personal networks again, especially since the contact persons in many companies have changed after the long Covid break. Airlines are also feeling a consistently positive impact on their bookings due to the elimination of the masking requirement as the last travel restriction.
Eurowings is the market leader at the airports in Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Stuttgart and, based on its data, is able to obtain a representative overview of how business travel is developing in Germany.
Trade shows as major travel drivers
The upswing is particularly noticeable at the major German trade fair locations in Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Stuttgart, which are also Eurowings' largest bases: the need for personal exchange fills the trade fair venues, thus driving business travel and attracting visitors from all over Europe. For example, around two-thirds of all global industry events are held in Germany, and four of the world's ten largest exhibition centres are located in Germany. Air travellers take advantage of the attractive off-peak times to arrive from Birmingham, Geneva, Lyon, Prague, Salzburg, or Stockholm, for example. Air traffic is also benefiting from a significant easing of the situation at German airports. Since the holiday travel peak in the summer months, much of the load has been taken off the system, and the recruitment waves are also having an impact throughout the industry. Eurowings, for example, has so far flown with a reliability rate of 99.5 percent in November – a recognized high figure in the industry.