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IATA NEWS : 17 Feb 2011

posted Feb 18, 2011, 5:03 AM by Rowan Hewitt

Premium Traffic Monitor - December 2010

Released 17 February 2011

Key points from our full report on
premium and economy travel in December:



  • Bad weather hit passenger traffic in December and the comparison with December 2009 was also depressed by the surge in traffic at that time.
  • As a result the year-on-year growth rate of passengers on international markets slowed from 7.6% to 2.8% growth.
  • There was a marked difference between seat class segments. Premium travel held up much better in December, slowing from 9.6% to 7.1%. By contrast economy travel slowed more sharply from 7% to 2.4%.
  • Variation by market however persists.
  • Strongest growth during December was seen in Asian markets; within Far East and Europe to Far East, driven by business travel associated with trade and investment flows.
  • The mid-Atlantic premium market also continues to strengthen. African markets are also growing.
  • At the other extreme, economy travel within Europe was hit very hard by the bad weather and weak economic conditions.
  • The North Atlantic market was also down sharply as the bad weather hit an already weak flow of economy traffic.
  • The year as a whole in 2010 saw premium travel markets expand by 9.1% and economy travel was up 5.9%.
  • The number of airline passengers in total travelling on international markets in 2010 grew by 6.2%.
  • The weather-related dip in December meant that by the end of the year international passenger markets were still 2% below the pre-recession peak of early 2008. They had just recovered these levels in November.
  • Premium travel fell further in recession, has recovered the fastest and still has momentum, but is still 11% smaller than before the recession.
  • Business travel still appears to be the main driver of growth in air travel, and business confidence surveys -which rose further in January this year- point to further momentum ahead in this key air travel segment.

- IATA Economics -