Slow Economies Bring Down Number of Premium Air Travellers - The New Indian Express

Slow Economies Bring Down Number of Premium Air Travellers

Published: 21st May 2014 06:13 PM

Last Updated: 21st May 2014 06:13 PM

NEW DELHI: Economic slowdown in China, India and other economies of the East led to a significant contraction in business class air travel in March compared to the previous year, latest IATA data showed today.

Growth in the number of business class or premium travellers, which is a good indicator of airline industry's revenue earning capacity, slowed to 2.2 per cent in March compared to 4.1 per cent in February, data analysed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed.

A notable part of the slowdown was China where business activity has been contracting since January, the IATA said, adding that premium travel within the Far East suffered as a result.

This was a "significant slowdown" in both February (one per cent) and January (7.2) growth, the study said.

The European market also experienced a slowdown, with premium travel within Europe contracting 1.6 per cent in March compared to the corresponding period of previous year.

Almost all routes saw a slowdown in March compared to February, but some markets like those in the Gulf region, recorded solid and robust growth in premium travel, including the routes linked to the US where economic conditions continue to improve steadily.

The Gulf nations specifically enjoyed acceleration in non-oil sectors of their economies, ensuring strength in consumer demand and positive developments in sectors such as trade, transport and tourism, the study showed.

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