IATA: Premium traffic up 8.6% in March

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Published: May 28, 2012

IATA reported that international premium traffic for March was up 8.6% compared to the year-ago growth of 2.9% recorded in March 2011, and up from 6.3% growth in February (ATW Daily News, April 25).

Although the March growth rates are exaggerated by the events of a year ago, air travel still looks strong, IATA said in its latest premium traffic monitor. “We estimate that premium travel was about 4 points higher this March than it would have been in the absence of the Arab Spring and Japan earthquake—but that still has the market growing at a solid rate of over 4% in March. Over the last four months, premium travel has been increasing at an annualized rate of over 6%, above the annual growth of 5.5% in 2011,” IATA said.

Economy travel showed a strong growth of 8.9% year-over-year, up sharply from 1.1% growth recorded in March 2011 (ATW Daily News, May 23, 2011).

The strongest premium traffic growth in March was recorded on the Africa-Middle East route, which reported a 40.3% growth year-over-year. Next highest growth rate was on the Central America-South America route (up 21.3%) and Middle East-Southwest Pacific routes (up 21%) compared to March 2011.

The worst performing routes in March were on Europe-Southwest Pacific routes (down 24%), routes within Central America (down 10.5%) and routes within the Southwest Pacific (down 2.1%).

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