With trade shows cancelled and companies limiting or even banning travel, Mark Manduca, aviation analyst at Citi, recently raised the question: “Will corporate travel ever truly recover again?” When the coronavirus crisis is over, will companies that have managed just fine with video conferencing decide to carry on, given how much cheaper it is?

We have heard similar questions before. I wrote an article in the early 1990s, after the first Gulf war and the economic downturn, quoting experts who said company bosses had noticed a fall in costs from the resulting decline in travel and decided to make it permanent. Similar things were said after 9/11. Every economic slowdown produces the same statements.

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