Categorized | Airlines

Premium travel dropped 22 percent in April…

Posted on 17 June 2009

Tuesday June 16, 2009. More evidence Tuesday that a bad economy pushes passengers to the back of the plane, as a trade group reported that traffic in the high-end airline seats fell 22 percent in April.

Revenue from those passengers fell even faster, down an estimated 44 percent from April 2008, the International Air Transport Association reported.

The number of travelers on coach tickets rose 0.3 percent in April, which IATA said was an improvement over a 6.9 percent decline for the first quarter.

IATA pointed out that Easter landed in April this year versus March last year. The shift probably cut into higher-priced business travel but boosted leisure travel, IATA said. The group estimated that the Easter shift accounted for 5 percentage points of the decline in April premium travel.

Drivers of air travel such as jobs growth and industrial production were still declining in most big economies during April, “which would suggest a floor for air travel has not yet been reached,” the group wrote.

Air travel has become much cheaper in recent months, with economy fares down 15 percent and premium fares down more than 20 percent, IATA said. That’s because airlines are discounting tickets to try to keep them from going unsold.

Premium traffic in Europe fell 33.6 percent versus April 2008. Premium traffic within North America was down 16.5 percent, and traffic from Europe to Asia fell 26.4 percent.

Source: AP

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