New data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that the growth in the number of international air passengers slowed in June to 2.4 percent, with first half growth of 3.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
Most of this ‘year-on-year’ growth took place last year - since December, travel has expanded by just 0.7 percent. The travel slowdown has been caused by slower world trade growth and a dip in business confidence. However, business confidence has been rising in recent months, pointing to a stronger second half for travel. Travel on premium seats grew more slowly in June, at 1.8 percent, than economy travel, at 2.5 percent. However, the rising trend in the share of premium since late-2012 remains intact. Moreover, premium yields have been more robust so the premium revenue share has risen faster, to almost 29 percent. Premium yields have been supported by the relative strength of longer-haul markets, with the strongest growth of larger markets seen on the North Atlantic, Pacific and Europe-Far East. By contrast markets connected with emerging markets have generally been weak and some are getting weaker. Faster long-haul growth has meant that international RPKs are growing much faster than passenger numbers, at 5.5 percent versus 2.4 percent in June.