FCM Sees 89% Uplift in Corporate Travel bookings to Germany
Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) power the return of corporate travel with majority of clients travelling to Frankfurt and Munich in September
OCTOBER 7, 2021
FCM, one of the world’s largest travel management companies has reported an 89% uplift in corporate travel bookings from Singapore. This comes on the back of the Vaccinated Travel Lanes announcement, also known as VTLs which was implemented in early September. It’s a significant leap toward corporate travel, which has shown impressive gains as it doubled FCM’s travel bookings into Germany in September.
There is no doubt corporate travel will take some time to recover. However, we expect this momentum to continue especially as we head into year-end, as companies and travellers’ travel intent remains high, especially to VTL destinations.
For bookings out of Singapore, Germany has moved up three places and is now the top destination, replacing the USA as the top destination.
- Vicki Parris, VP for Customer Success in Asia
VTL flights soar high with corporate travellers: surprising shifts in purpose and cost of travel
An analysis of FCM’s data revealed that almost 100% of people returning from Munich and Frankfurt are on VTL flights. Travellers have switched from non-VTL flights or transferred from other German cities onto VTL flights out of Frankfurt or Munich so they can enter Singapore without need for quarantine.
“We are seeing a very positive outlook with corporate travellers eager to embrace the VTLs. Corporate travel and the corresponding customer experience are getting a new lease of life. With the pandemic taking its toll on relationships and mental well-being, we also noticed a change in the purpose of travel among our clients,” said Parris.
While leisure, bleisure and home leave usually account for less than 5% of FCM’s booking volume in the past, FCM saw a massive uptake in clients’ bookings for these reasons in September which accounted for a third of total bookings.
The majority of travellers are European expatriates who have not seen their families for the past 18 months. While many of them used the Singapore-Germany VTL for business needs, several travellers also took the opportunity to either meet with family or add on a few days of leisure into the trip.
To stimulate demand and activity for these newly opened routes, airlines with VTL flights have reduced the fares of economy seats by an average of 60% post-VTL announcement. Prices of business class tickets has increased by 15% as airlines attempt to regain revenue from businesses and individual corporate travellers who are less price sensitive.
“It would be natural to assume that prices across all cabins would rise due to pent-up demand especially with limited availability on selected flights to a single destination – in this case Germany. However as FCTG and FCM have seen in other countries where travel has resumed, traveller confidence takes time to rebuild,” said Parris on the sharp reduction in cost of travel for economy fares.
“FCM has seen a very good start to the second half of 2021 globally. Many western countries have already stopped using lockdowns and we saw our European and Americas markets pick up significantly through their international and domestic corporate travel markets respectively.
In Singapore, the VTLs were introduced as part of the goal towards an endemic endgame and the encouraging uplift in bookings and travel since its introduction is driving a lot of confidence in Asia for the months ahead,”
- Vicki Parris
FCM is one of the largest global business travel management companies with a 24/7 worldwide reach in almost 100 countries – so when we say global network, we mean it. Theflagship business division of the ASX-listed Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), FCM has the leverage to deliver access to the widest worldwide network of airfares, hotels and ground transport for unique and best-value travel solutions. Thousands of national and multi-national organisations around the world, including many household brands, Fortune and FTSE 100 companies, rely on FCM’s intuitive technology and expert teams to move their business travellers effortlessly and maximise their return on investment.
FCM’s agile and flexible travel technology platform anticipates and solves the needs of each business. Our flexible, globally connected teams are experts in negotiating the best deals for their clients, and offer in-depth local knowledge and duty of care support to provide the ultimate personalised business travel experience. FCM is a trusted travel partner for businesses that have regular international travel needs, take single trips at the last-minute, or have centralised their business travel across multiple markets.