A global study on flight demand has revealed that for a fourth year in a row, New York City is the most popular destination for business travel, followed by former number one London.

The report by Egencia found demand for flights to New York from around the world continued to outstrip other global cities, including London, which last held the top spot in 2014.

Egencia says the Big Apple’s dominance in the market is likely to continue, with business flight bookings to the city nearly 10 per cent higher than those to London in 2018.

However, London remains one of the two European cities to round out the top three slots in the global list, with Pairs coming third. Egencia’s data shows air travel to the French capital experienced 20 per cent growth in 2018.

London and Paris were also the only two European cities to place within the top 20 global destinations for business travel.

Asia dominated the top 20, with Shanghai placing fourth followed by Singapore (sixth), Hong Kong (eighth) and Tokyo (ninth). Beijing came in at number 15, while Mumbai placed 17th and Seoul ranked 20th.

The Middle East, South America and North Africa also placed on the global ranking with Dubai (11th), Sao Paulo (18th) and Casablanca (19th).

In North America, Toronto outpaced other major commercial centres in the US, placing fifth, including San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. Montreal was the 14th most popular destination.

According to Egencia’s data – which captures bookings from small, medium and multinational companies in more than 60 countries – total business travel flight bookings increased globally by nearly 110 per cent between 1 January 2014 and 1 December 2018, showing an encouraging trend for the industry.

During the same period, bookings for New York increased 120 per cent, by nearly 80 per cent for London and nearly 120 per cent for Paris.

Singapore saw the largest increase in flight bookings globally, growing nearly 160 per cent over the five-year period.

Andrew Dyer, VP of global supply at Egencia, commented: “While US and European cities retain the top three spots, the most interesting takeaway is how global business travel has truly become with five of seven continents represented in the top 20 destinations. As business travel continues to grow, it’s never been more important for companies to have a traveller-friendly programme that also provides unified global tools for travel managers to assist their travellers.”

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