IATA: September premium traffic rose 6.7%

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Published: November 25, 2011

IATA reported that international premium traffic rose 6.7% year-over-year in September, after growth slowed to 2.3% in August.

The rebound for economy travel in September was higher, at 5.8% year-over-year, the organization said in its latest premium traffic monitor.

IATA said the stronger premium and overall passenger numbers in September helped both airline yields and profits in the third quarter. “We had not expected the strength to continue this long. An important question is whether strong travel will continue into the fourth quarter. Given deteriorating business confidence and economic conditions, we stick with our view that air travel markets will slow in the months ahead,” IATA said.

The strongest premium traffic growth in September was recorded on Central America-South America routes, which reported a 22.9% growth year-over-year. Next highest growth rate was on Africa-Southwest Pacific routes, up 16.7%. Middle East-Far East routes grew 14.6% and South Atlantic routes grew at 14.2%.

The worst performing routes in September were within the Southwest Pacific, declining 25% year-over-year, followed by routes within Central America (down 10.7%).

IATA said it expects premium travel to slow in the months ahead: “Economic weakness is originating from Europe. If the sovereign debt problems deteriorate into a renewed banking crisis, then the resulting European recession is likely to weaken travel markets worldwide.”

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