Business Travel Will Rebound, Airport CEO Predicts

BusinessTravelNews – I went on a business trip last week. In normal times, that wouldn’t be worth mentioning. But these are hardly normal times.

I’m in the travel industry. As CEO of Pittsburgh International Airport, it’s my job to promote our airport and the magnificent, thriving region it serves to airline executives, travel industry colleagues and business leaders around the world, from Dallas to Dublin to Doha.

I spend a lot of time on the road. But like everyone else, I’ve been grounded by the coronavirus pandemic. In March and April, Covid-19 brought airports and airlines to a virtual standstill across the globe. In Pittsburgh, we watched our passenger numbers plummet by 95 percent.

Are business travelers coming back? There’s much talk in my industry that business travel has changed, possibly for good. Zoom, WebEx, Skype, GoToMeeting and other videoconferencing tools have enabled face-to-face communication among people, groups and teams.

Are these improved technologies better than a phone call? Yes. But are they robust enough to fully enable the world’s work? I don’t think so.

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