Jul 18, 2020,09:04am EDT
Will HortonSenior Contributor
Aerospace & Defense
“End of an era” is the common refrain from passengers, staff and fans as British Airways announces the immediate retirement of its 747s with their distinct forward hump and decades-long history. The sudden withdrawal may more quietly signal the end of a different period: high-volume business travel.
Airlines are preparing for a lasting decline in how often businesses travel in a premium cabin. There are health concerns, battered finances and willingness to use videoconferencing. That will shape how airlines allocate seats across cabins, what aircraft sizes to buy, and where to fly.
“One of the things we will have to look at is the business mix between premium and non-premium,” Willie Walsh, the CEO of British Airways parent owner IAG, flagged to investors this spring. “My crystal ball tells me that the mix is going to be different post this, and to what we had seen before it.”
Particularly impacted is the . . .