That’s according to Avis-Budget’s Q1 earnings release this week. In the earnings call, Avis Budget CEO Joe Ferraro said that “in the latter part of the first quarter, we’ve seen the commercial demand improve as well, to points above 2019 level during the same period that quarter.” That gives another indication of the strong return of business travel, particularly in U.S.
More from the call, on the leisure vs business travel mix and the blending of both:
“We said earlier, on the last call that I believe strongly that, commercial business is good for our company. It it gives you a mid-week peak as far as how to utilize the fleet more effectively. And that will allow you to have that car available for rental or for leisure period, that comes more on the weekends. The commercial business that we have seen has come from the companies that you might think about: defense contracting, and healthcare, and travel, entertainment, logistics. And we see a lot of that travel. And lastly, what I would — what we see is the commercial consumers keeping the cars longer.
I think they’ve augmented the safety service, and the fact that do you have a car or not to make their choice for us. And prices have become elevated for commercial business. The last thing I will say about commercial is, we’ve seen a tremendous growth in what we call leisure. A person rents a car for a couple of days, and then keeps it on the weekend. Think of a business traveler going to Las Vegas for a conference and then sticks around for a concert on the weekend. We’ve seen a good deal of that, and with our split bill technology that we did a number of years ago, that will allow us to have a consumer to use their corporate card for midweek, and then put it on their private card for the weekend.”