Africa-ME route tops in premium travel growth
Montreal, April 17, 2014
The premium air traffic on the Africa-Middle East route grew 12.6 per cent in February as compared to the same month of 2013 -- stronger than any other in the world, said a new report released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
Economy traffic growth on the Africa-Middle East also rose by 11.9 per cent in February over the corresponding month in 2013, marking a total growth of 12 per cent, added Iata’s Premium Traffic Monitor February 2014 report.
Globally, growth in the number of passengers traveling in premium seats on international markets moderated in February, rising 4.1 per cent compared to a year ago, down on the January rise of 6.1 per cent.
Although the demand backdrop for premium travel remains broadly positive, rates of improvements in business conditions have slowed, Iata noted.
Over recent months, solid growth in premium travel has been supported by positive developments in the business environment, which commenced in the second half of 2013.
Improvements in the Eurozone and US economies have been the key drivers of the pick-up in global business conditions. In fact, momentum in advanced economies has helped negate some of the slowdown in emerging market growth seen over recent months.
Latest data, however, shows some slowdown in the recent improvements in business conditions, Iata said.
Several major economies experienced some weakening in this indicator in March. In the US, economic growth in Q1 was dampened by difficult weather conditions, which is a temporary factor.
In China, however, (manufacturing) business activity has been contracting since January, and points to a potentially more pronounced and extended economic slowdown.
Route-level growth rates reveal weakness in the within Far East market, which increased only 1 per cent in February year-on-year, said Iata.
This is a significant slowdown on January growth (7.2 per cent). While the Chinese New Year holiday would have dampened business-related travel in February, the same effect took place in 2013 so the year-on-year comparison should reflect little or no negative bias.
By contrast, the North Atlantic market continues to improve, rising by a solid 3.8 per cent in February compared to a year ago, according to the Iata report.
This market contributes most to total international premium revenues, and current growth rates (which are well above 2013 expansion of 2.4 per cent) should help support airline financial performance.
The performance of this market is consistent with improving business conditions in the US and Europe. – TradeArabia News Service