United Airlines saw an increase in corporate travel bookings after Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer in the U.S.
“We did see in September another several points tick up in corporate travel buying,” United Vice President of Sales Strategy & Effectiveness Glenn Hollister said at the ATPCO Elevate conference in Arlington, Va., Tuesday. Those “several points” raised corporate bookings to more than 70 percent recovered from the pandemic, he added.
Asked about the outlook for the rest of 2022, Hollister said United sees no change in corporate booking activity, which continues to gradually improve.
Also speaking at the ATPCO event, Global Business Travel Association CEO Suzanne Neufang said the organization forecasts corporate travel buying globally to recover to roughly 65 percent of 2019 levels, or a little less than $1 trillion, by the end of the year. GBTA does not expect a full recovery until 2026.
A big final step in the corporate travel recovery for United, and many other airlines, is the reopening of Asia. United was the largest U.S. airline to the region before the pandemic and, until large markets like China fully reopen, will face challenges fully recovering to 2019 corporate travel revenues.
United will provide an updated outlook when it reports its third quarter results on October 19.