IATA expects increase in business travel, but risks from euro crisis remain
Air travel in both the premium and economy markets strengthened in December, 3.7% and 7.3% higher than in the previous year, according to IATA’s latest research just published. However, although premium travel strengthened at the end of 2011, the trend for the previous eight months had been flat at best. However, economy travel continues to trend upwards, although at a slower pace than in H1 2011.
Despite financial instability in the euro zone, travel markets within Europe expanded by 5.1% in 2011. In fact, growth on all of the larger routes continued at a strong pace during the year. Business confidence – which leads premium travel by several months – has now turned up in the past two months and is pointing to increased business activity. As a result, IATA expects some increase in business travel, lending support to premium travel in the months ahead. But risks from the euro crisis remain.
[pictured: British Airways‘ First cabin]