While the trend for flying low cost on short haul flights has been booming in recent years, a new survey has revealed 57 per cent of business travellers would also consider booking low-cost long haul tickets if the alternative was available on their route.
Two thirds of business flyers are already choosing to do this on short haul flights (67 per cent), while 40 per cent are opting for economy options for long haul where possible. At Gatwick, the popularity of new low-cost routes to New York and Los Angeles with Norwegian Air, has seen the airline announce it is to double services on these routes from May 2015.
The growing number of low-cost ticket options for business travellers make trips across the globe more affordable than ever, with almost one in five (18 per cent) people now willing to fly long haul for just a two hour meeting. A third of business travellers now jet across the world for face-to-face meetings that make it easier to build strong, long-term relationships and get deals done.
Gatwick teamed up with Traveller Insight and Business Traveller magazine to survey businessmen and women across the UK about their flying habits.
The poll revealed that more passengers, (25% of those surveyed), care about faster security than any other aspect of flying. Gatwick has invested £45m in new security facilities since 2011, and the average waiting time for Gatwick passengers is now only two minutes.
Gatwick is also becoming the smart choice for UK business. A recentYouGov poll found small business leaders would prefer to see expansion at Gatwick rather than Heathrow and increasingly focus on the cost of travel. More than half (53 per cent) cited it as the most important consideration when booking a flight, after the destination.
London Gatwick’s new ‘Suited Savers’ research reinforces the findings of TripAdvisor’s 2014 study which found that between April 2014 and April 2015, 72 per cent of business travellers they asked said they had chosen to fly on a low-cost airline.
Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer at London Gatwick, said: “Passengers are increasingly voting for the kind of choice and competition that only Gatwick can deliver.
“This research highlights the emergence of a new kind of business flyer - travellers who put value for money, speed and convenience at the heart of their travel plans. The remarkable growth of low cost carriers, and their moves into the long-haul market, reinforce this view.
“One in five of Gatwick’s passengers is now travelling on business, and our future success in the business travel market will be built on our ability to offer a short journey time from the office to the plane, with new, modern facilities that work every step of the way. That is what we are delivering today.
“Gatwick represents the future of air travel and we are increasingly well positioned to provide the connectivity and service that supports the UK’s existing and emerging growth markets. Building a second runway at Gatwick is the best and right choice for passengers and for British business, the environment and the economy.”