The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported its assessment of premium and economy travel in December 2013.
Key points include:
- Premium international passenger travel numbers were up 4.2 percent in 2013 compared to 2012;
- This is a slowdown on 2012 (4.8 percent), but growth has picked-over recent months, with December up 5.5 percent;
- Growth in premium travel has been supported by a stronger business environment in H2 2013;
- Key markets like the North Atlantic improved – still growing slowly (2.3 percent), but up on 2012 (.6 percent);
- But the largest share (21 percent) of the rise in total premium travel was within the Far East;
- This market expanded 7.2 percent in 2013, supported by regional trade growth in the second half of the year;
- Economy international travel expanded 3.5 percent in 2013, significantly down on 2012 (5.9 percent);
- The within Far East economy class market slowed most, with growth in 2013 (4.3 percent) half the pace of 2013;
- Although Asian economies made some gains in 2013, China slowed to rates not seen since 1990;
- The outlook for premium travel is broadly positive, but recent improvements in key drivers appear to be pausing;
- Business confidence has flattened and export orders growth has slowed, reflecting weakness in emerging markets;
- Nonetheless, performance of advanced economies should sustain premium travel, at least at current growth rates.
To view the full report, visit www.iata.org.