Experts from Aeroclub, a business travel market leader and a leading provider of IT solutions for the industry, have analyzed airline ticket bookings by business representatives since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine and found out how demand has changed in domestic and foreign destinations, which industries have increased business travel, which routes have been the most in demand.
According to the study, since the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, the drop in demand for air tickets in Russia from the business side was 6% compared to the same period in 2021 and 18% compared to the beginning of February this year. At the same time, since February 24, the share of refunds and exchanges of air tickets for domestic flights amounted to 35%: a year earlier this figure was 9%. Moreover, in the first two days after the start of the special military operation, the number of air ticket refunds in Russia increased 18 times compared to the previous days, and the situation has not yet returned to normal.
Experts noted an increase in the number of business trips in Russia among employees of enterprises in the manufacturing and mining industries, energy by 22% compared to the beginning of February 2022 and almost doubled compared to 2021. At the same time, despite the double increase in the number of air ticket refunds, their share was only 13%. Pharmaceutical companies, which maintained high business travel activity in Russia, reduced the flights of their employees by 14% compared to the beginning of February and by a quarter compared to 2021. At the same time, the share of air ticket refunds from February 24 for companies in this industry reached 34%. Retail employees cut their travel by a quarter, down 39% from a year earlier. The share of refunds of air tickets for domestic flights from retailers has reached 35% since the beginning of the military special operation. IT and telecom companies have become 22% less likely to send their employees on business trips in Russia by air, and the share of airline ticket refunds for representatives of these companies has exceeded 60%. Companies supplying and repairing technological equipment reduced their business trips by a quarter compared to the beginning of February, while the share of airline ticket cancellations in Russia for companies in this industry was 69%. Financial and consulting companies increased the number of business trips in Russia by 2% compared to the beginning of February and by 4% compared to 2021. The number of refunds for domestic flights by employees of these companies has reached 43% since February 24%.
Demand for Russian cities among business travelers has not changed much – the demand for flights to Moscow remained at the level of early February 2022 and exceeded the level of 2021 by 6%. The number of bookings to St. Petersburg decreased by 8%, but they exceeded the figures for 2021 by 7%. Irkutsk took the third place, surpassing 2021 in demand by 15%. Also included in the top 10 are Krasnoyarsk (+15% compared to February 2022), Novosibirsk (+11%), Yekaterinburg (-21%), Magadan (+35%), Kazan (-21%), Ufa (+12%) and Nizhnekamsk (+26%).
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