New Routes, New Planes: Wooing the Business Traveler

Whether it’s an airline, a car rental company, or a hotel, the travel industry views business travelers as VIPs.  It’s not just because they may be a high-profile corporate head of state or an Instagram influencer. Business travelers will pay the most for accommodations with the least amount of notice.

Price is certainly part of it but it’s also about the perks.  At the top of the list: convenience. So, it’s no surprise U.S. air carriers are making bids for landing slots at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.  Unlike Narita, Tokyo’s dominant international airport, which is a good hour away from the city center, Haneda is centrally located near downtown.

“The extra slots for U.S. airlines were unlocked after Japan reached an agreement with the U.S. Air Force to open up new flight paths around a nearby U.S. air base, a move needed to boost Haneda movements in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo,” reported Reuters.

For a business traveler on a swift trip abroad, the notion of not having to sit in a bus, train or taxi for an extended period of time makes Haneda a lucrative option.  American, Delta and United are among the airlines making bids from their U.S. hub cities to Tokyo Haneda.

Besides convenience, comfort is another component in wooing the business traveler.

Earlier this year, United Airlines debuted its Boeing 787-10 aircraft between Newark and Los Angeles.  The placement of this high-tech jet with lie-flat seating is one way to distinguish itself on the highly lucrative New York to LA route.   At the same time, American Airlines is increasing its premium offerings with first class, business and economy cabins. Delta also offers lie-flat seating for business passengers.