The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its latest assessment of premium and economy travel, for May 2015. The report showed some encouraging signs for air travel, including a 6.2 percent rise in passenger travel in international markets for May 2015 as compared to one year ago.
The 6.2 percent increase in May marked an acceleration on the 3.8 percent rise in traffic in April. Economy class travel grew at a stronger rate than premium international air travel, and although the growth was spread across most key markets, it was largely driven by the within Europe market.
Economy class travel rose 6.4 percent in May year-on-year, a pick-up on April growth of 4.2 percent. The strong growth in economy class leisure travel – the more price sensitive travel market – is being supported by lower fares. Premium travel also rose in May, but at a slower (4.1%) rate. This reflects continued weakness in business travel demand drivers, with global business confidence being dragged down by emerging markets.
The key driver of the faster growth in international air travel is acceleration on the within Europe market. In May, the market was up 5.1 percent, almost double the rate of growth seen year-to-date, supported by gains in business confidence which confirm that the economic recovery is on track.
Looking ahead, although adverse economic developments in some emerging markets continue to present downside risks for growth in international air travel, better conditions in advanced economies are likely to sustain the recent acceleration in passenger numbers.
Economic weakness in Asia from declines in trade activity could lead to deterioration in business related air travel for that region. hat said, there has been no sign of weakness in demand so far. By contrast, improvements in the Eurozone are already translating to stronger demand for travel in both premium and economy classes.