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CAPA – Centre of Aviation

CAPA – Centre of Aviation, is part of the Aviation Week Network within Informa Markets and is one of the world’s most trusted sources of market intelligence for the aviation and travel industry.

Through its international network of expert aviation researchers and analysts, it provides specialist data and intelligence on the latest industry trends, delivered through a range of subscription products, including its ‘CAPA Membership’ programme, and supported by a number of specialist events, masterclasses and global summits.

For more information, visit or contact

Latest Business Travel Trends

As part of Informa PLC’s 2021 Half-Year Results, below we have included a number of charts to highlight the latest trends and expectations for domestic and international travel within some of the Group’s major markets. These highlight returning confidence in air travel, albeit at different paces and rates by region, with the recovery in China someway ahead of the US. They also illustrate the return of leisure travel ahead of business travel, although the indications are that over coming months, in the US, companies are expected to progressively relax current self-imposed travel restrictions on staff, which to date remains one of the key barriers to travel.

We have also included some charts highlighting outputs from a recent international survey by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) focused on future travel intentions, which underline the importance of corporate travel for doing business, particularly for business development, networking and sales activities. More specifically, these highlight the value and importance of events in driving these activities.

Cross-referencing this data with our own first-hand conversations with customers across our portfolio of brands within Informa Markets, there is a strong message from customers that the absence of physical trade shows over the last 18 months in many regions and markets has had a big impact on business development pipelines, particularly for the commercial SME community, many of whom rely on the industry trade show as the focal point of the calendar year for product launches and prospecting customers.

For more detail and analysis on these or any other trends in aviation and travel, visit to find out more.

Strong Recovery of Chinese Domestic Air Travel

The recovery of air travel in Mainland China is well ahead of the US, with domestic activity in 2021 well ahead of 2020 and having already surpassed 2019 levels through the second quarter of the year. This has not been replicated for international travel, however, with overseas travel restrictions and quarantine measures still significantly limiting inbound and outbound international activity.


Source: CAAC *China Jun-2021 is estimated

Improving Total US Passenger Volumes

In Informa’s largest market, the US, there has been a steady increase in domestic travel activity since January 2021, as confidence to travel has improved and more travel routes have opened up. Total air passenger levels are now tracking some 200% above 2020 levels but still c20% below 2019 levels. Importantly, to date, this has been driven largely by a recovery in leisure travel more than business travel.


Source: USA Transport Security Administration daily checkpoint data

Gradual improvement in US Business Travel

US business travel has lagged the recovery in leisure travel but, over recent months, has been steadily improving, with ticket volumes through US travel agencies reaching 50% of 2019 levels by early July.


Source: Airline Revenue Corporation (ARC)

Gradual relaxation in US Corporate Travel restrictions

US Companies have been gradually relaxing self-imposed COVID-19 travel restrictions over recent months and this is expected to continue, although, as at July, 50% of companies still had restrictions in place for domestic travel. Permission to fly internationally for business is lagging behind, with more than 80% of corporates still not allowing international trips.


Source: GBTA

Business Travel is also recovering steadily outside of the US

The GBTA survey also points to similar trends internationally, with corporates gradually relaxing restrictions on business travel, led by domestic trips. By the end of 2021, 70%+ of corporates surveyed expect domestic business travel to have resumed, with 30%+ expecting international business travel to also have restarted.


Source: GBTA


Source: GBTA Jul-2021 Survey


Source: GBTA Jul-2021 Survey

Employees are increasingly willing to travel for work

Confidence to travel for work amongst employees has been steadily improving through 2021, with the latest GBTA survey indicating 77% of those surveyed are willing to travel for work, with a further 12% neither willing or unwilling. This suggests the biggest barrier to a stronger recovery in business travel is ongoing corporate restrictions rather than a reluctance amongst individual employees.


Source: GBTA Jul-2021 Survey

Business Development and Networking significantly impacted by lack of Business Travel

The absence of Business Travel is having a direct impact on business prospects, with more than half those surveyed indicating it is having a direct impact on new business development and networking with customers. This tallies with our own customer conversations, particularly across the commercial SME community, many of whom point to the absence of trade shows as having a major impact on new business activity.


Source: GBTA Jul-2021 Survey