Premium air travel up 8.6pc in Aug
Dubai, October 22, 2013
The premium air travel - business and first-class tickets- sector improved in August with a 8.6 per cent growth after months of sluggish expansion, partly due to the positive bias of Ramadan timing for the Middle Eastern airlines, said a report.
But even after seasonal adjustments, the premium travel was up about 5 per cent year-on-year, above year-to-date growth (3.4 per cent), stated the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in its assessment of premium and economy travel for the month
According to the aviation body, the pick-up in August reflects the signs of improving economic conditions in Europe and the US.
"In fact, premium travel within Europe and the North Atlantic rose 7.2 per cent and 5.7 per cent, a strong rise compared to growth this year," said the IATA report.
“The timing of Ramadan helped to boost premium traffic growth routes connected to the Middle East. Europe–Middle East was up 24.9 per cent, and Middle East–Far East grew 14.7 per cent compared to August 2012," said Hussein Dabbas, IATA regional VP for Africa and the Middle East.
"Even if we account for Ramadan, there was still a strong rise in overall premium travel volumes in August compared to July. Continued improvements in global business confidence and export orders means that premium traffic in the region is well-placed to carry on growing strongly in the months ahead," stated Dabbas.
On the future outlook, the IATA official said the air travel markets continues to improve with business confidence at levels not seen since mid-2011.
According to him, the export orders also continue to rise, now at the fastest pace since May 2011, which is a positive sign for world trade growth. "Some of this improvement has already helped premium’s share of total travel rise to an 18 month high, which should support yields," he added.
However, Dabbas cautioned that there could be a downside risk to the outlook mainly because of the debt crisis in the US and the widespread impact it could have on the global economy.-TradeArabia News Service