New Zealand Business Travellers Start to Change Travel Habits Permanently in Post 9/11 World New Zealand business travellers are permanently changing their travel habits to accommodate the post-9/11 world, says Lufthansa German Airlines. Lufthansa’s General Manager New Zealand & Pacific Islands, Sarah Havard, says two noticeable features among New Zealand business travellers going to Europe are now:
-greater willingness to use continental hubs - notably Munich and Frankfurt - rather than London, generally in order to avoid delays in London as a result of tightened security
-more interest in using private jet services for corporate travellers on intra-Europe travel in order to avoid delays and tightened security
“Six or seven years ago the most important factors for business travellers were, generally, good prices and minimising travelling time,” says Ms Havard. “Increasingly, we are noticing that price and minimising travelling time remain key factors, but, further, business travellers now want to avoid the possibility of delays as a result of tightened security.
“We think New Zealand-based business travellers are now making a permanent adjustment to the post 9/11 world, where increased security is a constant feature and the question that is in the mind of travellers is how they can minimise the delays that it causes.
“Initially, business travellers probably thought the security-based delays would be temporary. However, I think they now realise that the shape of modern air travel has changed permanently, and they are going to have to adjust to accommodate that.”
Lufthansa German Airlines is the only major airline offering private jet services. The service was launched just over a year ago. and allows travellers to book travel on a private aircraft, with the ease and simplicity of booking a scheduled flight, either on its own or in combination with scheduled airline services.
Ms Havard said that New Zealand travellers, on a per capita basis, were already major users of Lufthansa Private Jet. However, enquiries about the service, from New Zealand-based customers, had increased in the last few months. Lufthansa Private Jet offers customers a choice of 1,000 airports in Europe, starting either from its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich or any European airport, compared to around 100 airports served by Lufthansa’s scheduled services.
Ms Havard said the price of executive jet travel was falling and is now increasingly comparable to business class travel on commercial scheduled services. “Further, we have noticed greater interest in using Munich and Frankfurt as hubs relative to two years ago, for example. We think that indicates passengers will avoid London, which has been particularly affected by increased security, if they can.
“Frankfurt and Munich are both first-class airports, offering high-quality facilities and connections to dozens of destinations. Not surprisingly, business travellers will opt for them as hubs if they can.”