Concern over catching Covid
during air travel is spurring a renewed interest in using business rail,
according to a new survey.
The study of 1,000 regular
business travellers, by Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS), found that three
out of five business travellers say they are more likely to consider using rail
for their business trips compared to before the pandemic.
The biggest factor putting
business travellers off flying are concerns over Covid health and safety (41
per cent of respondents).
Other reasons cited by respondents for taking the train
instead of flying include getting to destinations quicker (where the total journey
time is lower), being able to work while travelling, and the convenience of departing
and arriving in city centres.
times are similar between rail and air, 90 per cent of respondents said they would
prefer to take the train over flying or driving.
The data shows 59 per cent of
employees who travel for work revealed they would avoid driving and even
short-haul flights to Europe when Covid-19 restrictions ease if the
journey times were similar. Some 81 per cent of travellers would support a ban
on short business flights where a train journey is available, similar to the
recently approved policy in France.
The environmental impact of air travel is also a key factor for
some. One in five (20 per cent) say they want to use
rail to reduce their carbon footprint.
Champa Magesh, president of TPS, which provides access to rail and
coach content to TMCs and online booking tool providers through an API, said: “When
business travel returns, it will not look the same as before the pandemic. One
clear long-term trend is employees planning to reduce the impact their travel
has on carbon emissions and reduce road travel and short haul flights. Given
rail generates less than 5 per cent of the CO2 emissions of air travel and approximately
15 per cent when compared to car travel per passenger, rail is the clear