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Varying trends in premium and economy air travel

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IATA analyses latest data in latest traffic monitor report
Passenger travel on international markets rose 4.6% in February compared to the same month a year ago, up on the 3.7% result in January, the International Air Transport Association says in its latest Premium Traffic Monitor report.
Economy-class travel is driving the increase in volumes, up 4.8% year-on-year during the month. This is being helped by falling fares worldwide in this more price sensitive market. However, the acceleration is also partly a result of the holiday-travel boost of Lunar New Year occurring one month later in 2015.
In premium travel, the growth trend has actually flattened in recent months. Premium international air travel volumes have not increased since August 2014. In February, there was a weak 2.3% rise in premium travel, year-on-year.
This reflects the gradual slowdown in improvements in business confidence throughout the second half of 2014, with economic conditions in some emerging markets deteriorating, IATA suggests. The within-Europe travel market was weak in January, up just 0.3% for premium class and 1.6% for economy – a notably slower trend than 2014, which averaged close to 4% overall.
Longer-haul markets continue to perform relatively strongly, such as the Middle East to both the Far East and Europe, which explains why international RPKs (revenue passenger kilometres) expanded at a much faster pace than passenger numbers, IATA says.
The latest data show there are signs of a pick-up in business confidence in the Eurozone and US, which could help ease some of the downward pressure on business-related international air travel as 2015 continues.
TTG Nordic
[pictured: São Paulo; photo courtesy Agência Brasil]

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