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UK Business Travel Buyers’ Heroes and Villains

UK Business Travel Buyers’ Heroes and Villains

A survey of 252 business travel buyers by the Business Travel Show – which takes plan on 7-8 February 2012 at Earls Court, London – has revealed airlines as both the villains and heroes of the industry in 2011. They were also voted the brands that inspire the most confidence and disappointment among buyers.

Ryanair fared the worst, leading the charge as both the business travel villain of 2011 and the brand most buyers would like to erase. Michael O’Leary was also voted in separately as number four villain. British Airways topped the poll of business travel heroes and was also voted the second highest rated brand that inspires confidence in buyers.

Top Business Travel Heroes

1.    British Airways                                       33%

2.    Eurostar                                                    22%

3.    EasyJet                                                      17%

4.    Boris Johnson                                         17%

5.    Emirates                                                    11%

Top Business Travel Villains

1.    Ryanair                                                      42%

2.    British Airways                                        14%

3.    EasyJet                                                       14%

4.    Michael O’Leary                                      12%

5.    Heathrow Airport                                      9%

Top Brands Inspiring Confidence

1.    Virgin Atlantic                                          34%

2.    British Airways                                         29%

3.    Emirates                                                      11%

4.    Premier Inn                                                11%

5.    Marriott                                                         9%

Top Brands Inspiring Eradication

1.    Ryanair                                                        57%

2.    EasyJet                                                        20%

3.    Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport              9%

4.    British Airways                                            9%

5.    London                                                           5%

“What this survey shows is that, when it comes to buying business travel, passions run most high when talking about the airline industry, and buyers are certainly passionate in their feelings towards Ryanair,” said David Chapple, Event Director, Business Travel Show.

“With O’Leary’s no-nonsense, no-apology attitude, this result is unsurprising. However, British Airway’s positioning is interesting – who would have thought they would have such a Marmite effect on buyers? It clearly reflects how one experience – good or bad – can really colour a brand’s values in the eyes of buyers.

“It is great to see easyJet at number three on the heroes poll, given the airline only launched into the business travel market at Business Travel Show this year. Congratulations to the likes of Eurostar and Premier Inn. Premier Inn is a great British success story: the company is currently the UK’s fastest growing budget hotel chain. Buyers can catch up with them at the Business Travel Show in 2012.”

More than 6,000 buyers and 200 exhibiting suppliers will be at the Business Travel Show in February. They include airlines Virgin Atlantic, United, brand new launch Hong Kong Airlines, Air Astana, Arik Air International, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Finnair, Flybe, Japan Airlines, South African Airways, TAM Airlines and Ukraine International Airlines.

To register for a buyer pass and for any of the sessions outlined above, visit businesstravelshow.com

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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