DALLAS – American Airlines (AA) is moving towards developing a blended traveler product, according to Vasu Raja, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer.
Speaking at the Skift Global Forum, Mr. Raja said, “The airline business has changed for American Airlines. So-called “blend trips,” or those that include both business and leisure aspects, are driving the company’s growth as it emerges from the pandemic.”
Blended travel is a concept that combines business travel with an added dimension of leisure. The concept has gained popularity since the COVID pandemic.
As companies around the world struggle to fill vacancies they are finding that workers are demanding the ability to combine private time with professional duties by adding personal days to business trips. In an extensive report titled “The Future of Blended Travel” Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts found that fully 60 percent of U.S. travelers plan to add leisure days to future business trips.
Mr. Raja noted that nearly half of AA’s revenues come from these blended trips, adding that they are driving revenue growth more than any other factor. “The airline side of its business,” he said, “is increasingly adding flights on North American routes where it sees the biggest return for its growth, particularly from blended trips.”
He added, “Increasingly, where we choose to go and fly our flights, will realistically be probably a lot more heavily in the domestic system,” Mr. Raja also indicated that merged business and leisure trips during the second quarter of 2022 led to a 20 point gap between revenue growth up 12% compared to capacity which was down by 8.5%.
If the concept of blended travel is paying off for AA, expect other carriers to quickly follow suit.
Featured image: American Airlines N787AL Boeing 777-200(ER). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways