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Up in the air: business travel in Australia

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2013 – September 2014 (n=16,176).

In a country as vast as Australia, travelling by air for business is often a necessity. In fact, in the 12 months to September 2014, 11% of the population (or 2,101,000 people) took at least one flight for domestic business travel. Roy Morgan Research reveals the industries most likely to require their workers to take domestic business trips by air and the destinations that see the most business visitors.

So which industry has the highest proportion of airborne business travellers? Mining, of course. No less than 45% of people employed in the mining industry travelled by air within Australia in the last 12 months for business, well ahead of people who work in Public Administration and Defence (28%) and those in Finance, Property and Business Services (23%).

Ten industries most likely to travel by air for business


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2013 – September 2014 (n=16,176).

New South Wales: open for business

Overall, New South Wales was the state visited by the highest proportion of air travellers on their last business trip (30%), followed by Queensland (21%) and Victoria (21%). The business air traffic between NSW and Victoria is especially heavy: 47% of Victorian business air travellers flew to NSW for their last work-related trip, and 39% of those from NSW/ACT flew to Victoria.

Queenslanders (38%) and Western Australians (48%) are most likely to have travelled within their own states on their last business trip. While this is partly due to their sheer geographical size, the high proportion of Fly-In Fly-Out workers in both states also contributes to these high figures.

Indeed, almost two-thirds of the mining professionals who took a flight for business in the past year flew to destinations within Western Australia or Queensland on their last trip.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“More than two million Australians took at least one domestic flight for business in the last 12 months, and as the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show, the people most likely to have done so are mining professionals, public servants and defence force personnel.

“While this result isn’t especially surprising, it is interesting to learn that only 3% of business travellers flew business class on their last trip. This figure increases to 20% for overseas business travel, suggesting that most people don’t believe the extra cost of business class is worthwhile for shorter, domestic trips.

“With an in-depth understanding of business travellers — their most-visited destinations, their professions and preferences — airlines and travel agents stand a good chance of increasing their chances of attracting more of this captive market for themselves…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%