(ETH) – Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is warning that the coronavirus will fundamentally change the way people travel for and conduct business, even after the pandemic is over.
In a recent conference Gates stated: “My prediction would be that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away,” Gates went further and predicted that there will be a “very high threshold” for conducting business trips now that working from home is more feasible. However, some companies may be more extreme with their efforts to reduce in-person meetings than others.
“We will go to the office somewhat, we’ll do some business travel, but dramatically less,” Gates said. Gate’s assessment comes as reports show that the pandemic has devastated air travel demand, and particularly for lucrative business trips. According to CNBC: “Business travelers before the virus accounted for half of U.S. airlines’ revenue, but just 30% of the trips, according to Airlines for America, an industry group that represents most U.S. carriers.”
“However, Microsoft executives have predicted that business trips will make a rebound, even as the company moves to make air travel more sustainable. “We believe that as we return to the skies, the travel routes we’ve had … will resume at the level they had been before,” Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business, said in October.