Top Trends in Premium and Economy Air Travel in December 2013

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported its assessment of premium and economy travel in December 2013.

RELATED: GBTA Survey: Premium Travel Up

Key points include:


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  • 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

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