IATA released an assessment of premium and economy travel in October.
Growth in international air passengers rose 3.6% in October compared to a year ago. This is in line with growth year-to-date, and stronger than the September rise of 2.3%. Premium passenger numbers were up at a slower rate (2.9%) in October than economy class passenger numbers (3.7%);
Growth so far this year in premium and economy class air travel has equalized. As a result, there has been no further increase in premium’s share of total traffic, which could suppress growth in premium yields and revenues;
Several markets showed improvement in October compared to a year ago. The within Far East market recorded a stronger rise in October, up 2.9%, compared to the trend so far this year (0.4%). Trade in emerging Asia has been growing solidly over recent months, which has provided a boost to business related air travel;
In addition, despite the recent weakening of the Eurozone economy, air travel within the region rose 4.7% in October year-on-year, almost a percentage point above the trend growth so far this year;
The outlook for international air travel remains positive overall, but recent slowdown in major economies like China and the Eurozone could place downward pressure on demand in coming months;
Moreover, although growth in world trade has been supportive of business-related air travel over recent months, a lack of improvement in business confidence since mid-2014 suggests further gains in international trade could be limited.