Business travel poll 2002: A most challenging year
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Business travel poll 2002: A most challenging year

The after-effects of September 11 made for a tough time for airlines and hotels. Businesses banned non-essential air travel, leading to record losses among the biggest airlines which were in any case being squeezed by low-cost rivals.

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Airlines and hotels will tell you that last year was very challenging. It was in fact for many airlines arguably the most challenging year ever.

Revenues fell dramatically as the economic downturn and the events of September 11 led to a dramatic fall in business travel and overall passenger numbers. In the first few months after the terrorist attacks, many businesses, including Lehman Brothers, advised against all non-essential air travel.

This dramatic cutback helped contribute to record losses at the world's major airlines. In the US alone, the eight major airlines reported 2001 losses totalling $9 billion and first-quarter 2002 losses of $2.4 billion. Even British Airways, once the most profitable airline in the world and a big winner in this year's Euromoney travel poll, suffered its worst financial results since privatization 15 years ago.

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