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Tears and relief as US reopens borders after 20 months

Reuters

Lagging business travel takes shine off transatlantic restart

Planes poured across the North Atlantic towards the United States on Monday, a boon for airlines after 19 months of travel restrictions – but that alone won’t be enough for carriers whose profits depend on filling the most expensive seats. Experts say the real battle of the transatlantic, the world’s most lucrative travel market, takes place at the front of the plane, in first, business, and premium economy class, where those paying the top prices help drive airline profits. Question marks remain over the pace and extent of the return of corporate travel budgets, after the pandemic showed online calls and virtual meetings offered a workable alternative.


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