Charting the trends – remote working is impacting travel search trends with weekends and Mondays gaining relevance while we attend the office less

While working remotely has been normal practice for some us, an office has been the main workplace for the majority. The COVID-19 pandemic has now led to a radical change in the workplace reality for millions of people who have started working from home and this new reality is affecting travel search patterns, according to Mabrian, the travel intelligence platform for tourism industry.

In 2019, the Barcelona, Spain-based business says the majority of global flight searches were concentrated on business days, especially from Monday to Wednesday, but that had shifted to the weekend in 2020, due, according to Mabrian, to the profound social and labour-force changes resulting from the pandemic.

“Millions of people have stopped going to the office on a daily basis to work from home and this has caused a change in the trend of travel searches. Remote working and spending more hours at home has increased the amount of time we spend on the Internet; therefore, we now spend more time searching for trips during the weekend and on Mondays,” it says about the findings of its travel search research.

Looking at flight searches for Barcelona, Cancun, Dubai, Lisbon, London, Madrid and Paris and comparing the Jun-2019 to Dec-2019 period with Jun-2020 to Dec-2020 it discovered a rise in travel interest over the three day period, with Monday seeing the largest growth. For Tuesdays through to Fridays there was a year-on-year reduction in searches with Tuesday showing the most notable decline.

This may just be a short-term trend that will remain until countries start to remove pandemic restricting mobility constraints and working arrangements revert back to some normality. However, many businesses may choose to embrace the changed working structure and allow more freedom to employees to work remotely and that could see these flight search habit changes become a firm fixture of future travel search intent.

They say ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. In this regular section CTC – Corporate Travel Community offers a graphical insight into a key industry observation or trend. In this latest edition we highlight Mabrian’s research on changing flight search activity.

This regular section also now incorporates and expands on the charts produced in the 2020 air capacity series ‘Coronavirus Statistics Snapshot’. These are based on an analysis of OAG schedule data and include a weekly look at how the pandemic is impacting global flight levels in the world’s largest markets; a week-on-week and year-on-year comparison of flight departures by geographical region and a look at how weekly capacity is trending: the latter comparing levels to 2020 and also to the 2019 baseline performance.

HEADLINE FIGURES FOR WEEK COMMENCING 22-Feb-2021:

Departure frequencies up +0.72% versus last week; down -42.43% versus 2020 and down -47.75% versus 2019.

Seat capacity up +0.81% versus last week; down -44.01% versus 2020 and down -49.98% versus 2019.

CHART: Week-on-week change in flight departures by region

CHART: Year-on-year weekly departure performance for world’s top 30 markets versus 2019

CHART: Year-on-year weekly departure performance for world’s top 30 markets versus 2020

CHART: Departure capacity trends with year-on-year performance

CHART: Departure capacity trends versus 2019

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