The world has changed a lot since the pandemic started almost exactly two years ago. Owners of companies that manufacture and sell facemasks are probably all billionaires. Companies whose stock price soared as people stayed home, most notably Netflix and Peloton, discovered they aren’t as special as they thought they were, and air travel came to a grinding halt but is now showing signs of a robust recovery.
Just last month alone, air travelers spent $6.6 billion on tickets which will help airlines offset the higher costs of jet fuel.
But what about business travel? It disappeared for most of the past two years. Planes and airports seem different, with fewer businesspeople navigating the terminals and cabins. Steve Squeri is the CEO of American Express, and he believes the new fad of remote work will create new demand for business travel.
Here’s what he told CNBC.
“You’re going to have, I believe, a lot more internal travel where colleagues and employees will come into the headquarters to be with their team for a few days. And they may do that multiple times a year. So I think that part of business travel will be a new piece.”
As for leisure travel, Squire told CNBC that his company has seen it grow steadily the last few months.
“We’re at 80% overall [travel and expenses] in the fourth quarter with consumer over 100% from 2019 levels. When we look at our travel bookings, our travel bookings were up in December … and that has sequentially grown in January and in February.”