PARIS, France: Even as air travel continues to remain in crisis and video calls have replaced in-person meetings, Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury expressed hope that business air travel would eventually return to close to pre-pandemic levels.
Although it remains to be seen to what extent it will recover, Faury said airlines are devoting the same space to business class seats as before.
He told Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag that corporate thinking had changed. "Companies realised: at some point they have to meet their customers and suppliers in-person again. At some point they must be on site to develop products or build factories," he said.
"That is what airlines are telling us, since they must decide now how their planes will be seated in future. And we see that they are planning as many seats in business class as before the pandemic."
When asked about the number of business flights he expects in the future, he conceded the sector might not recover fully.
"Maybe it will be slightly fewer. One thing is clear to me: people want to fly again. Hardly more, but also probably no less than before the pandemic."