US airlines chase premium leisure demand to subsitute business travel

Premium Analysis

US airlines have been pleasantly surprised over the resilience of their premium products during the COVID-19 crisis even as the recovery in business travel has been pushed back due to the spread of the 'delta variant' of the coronavirus. 

And now, some of those operators have reached the conclusion that a structural shift could be under way as leisure travellers who are, in some cases, flush with cash continue to find more refined product offerings attractive. 

That shift is leading airlines to believe that even if business travel does not fully recover, their long term prospects for profitability remain robust. But obviously the big questions are whether this trend is indeed a permanent change ushered in by the pandemic and just how large it is. 

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