Brussels Airlines has published an update on corporate travel with the carrier, showing an increase in bookings, particularly from political institutions, universities and the marine sector.

The carrier said that corporate bookings were seeing a weekly increase of between 30 and 40 per cent, with around 28,000 corporate customers expected to travel with the airline during September.

But the Belgian flag carrier said that travel uncertainty as a result of Covid-19 had seen the lead time for corporate bookings reduce from two to three week in advance pre-pandemic, to just two to three days.

Aside from the sectors above, the airline said that there had also been an upturn in corporate business from the automotive industry, international construction companies, producers of building materials, NGOs and insurance companies.

Brussels Airlines said that it expects its major corporate customers to begin to ease their travel policies from October, but warned that it does not forecast corporate travel to reach 2019 levels until 2024.

The carrier said that current key destinations for corporate travel included Milan, Copenhagen, Prague, Berlin, Vienna, Geneva, Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon, as well as Slovenia due to the country’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2021.

It also said that it had noted a 180 per cent increase in bookings to the US in the 24 hours following the announcement of the easing of travel restrictions.

The airline cited several initiatives offering increased flexibility for its corporate customers, including a ‘Pay As You Fly’ product allowing contracted corporate customers to delay payment on bookings until the passenger departs on the flight.