As operations director at CitySuites, I’m delighted to see business class domestic flights introduced to British Airways’ services.
BA said the changes have been introduced in response to their customer needs: “Many of our customers who connect between short-haul and long-haul flights prefer to travel in business class and we want to be able to offer them a consistent experience throughout their journey.”
It follows a pattern of organisations tailoring their services to satisfy the individual requirements of business customers. Whether it’s in hospitality, leisure, dining or travel, UK companies have a competitive interest in creating an environment tailored to today’s business needs.
The service sector is the driving force behind the UK economy, contributing around 78 per cent of GDP. So anything that encourages international businesses to visit the UK or regional businesses to explore opportunities for expansion into other parts of the country, has to be welcomed with open arms.
Much of that service sector wealth is concentrated in London and its world-famous financial district. An incredible 22 per cent of UK GDP is generated in the capital. No doubt it’s a strength internationally, but it does cast a long shadow over places like Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh.
The announcement of BA’s business class offering being extended to domestic flights is another of example of these barriers being broken down. It supports the idea that the UK is open for business, right across the country and disproves the old-fashioned notion that Watford is the end of the line.
As we prepare for life outside the EU, businesses need support to help them make the best of Brexit. It’s important that our regional economies are equipped to help companies embrace new opportunities, whether it’s through inward investment from abroad or intercity expansion of UK businesses.
At CitySuites, we’re delighted with the news. There’s a lot of overlap in the kind of customers we’re targeting. Like the new service from BA, our home-away-from-home serviced apartments in Manchester are designed around the needs and expectations of the modern business traveller.
In both cases, it’s about providing the options and the flexibility to create an attractive environment for today’s companies. Of course, not all businesspeople will choose to fly in business class domestic flights, but it’s important that we cater for all expectations and set the bar high right across the country.
That’s why we’re welcoming this news from BA. Much like its new business class domestic flights service, we aim to offer business travellers a new level of luxury, whether they stay with us for a few nights or a whole year. In summary, it could be great news for us, but even better for the UK’s regional economies.
Gavin Bailey is operations director at luxury serviced apartment provider CitySuites
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