International Air Transport Association

Premium Traffic Monitor - April 2011

Released 20 June 2011

Key points from our full report on
premium and economy travel in April:



  • Premium travel numbers in April continued to be reduced by the recent shocks in Japan and MENA, with only a small rebound after the sharp fall in March;
  • The size of the international premium travel market is now 1.3% smaller than it was at the start of the year;
  • Much of the weakness was due to Japan, but business confidence and world trade has also weakened;
  • As a result this softness in premium travel is expected to extend through the rest of the second quarter;
  • Comparisons with April last year are distorted by the volcanic ash cloud impacts, leading to a rise in the year-on-year rate from 2.9% in March to 16.3% in April;
  • Stripping out distortions our best estimate is that annualized growth has slowed from 5-6% in the second half of last year to around half that so far this year;
  • More encouraging was a large rebound in economy travel taking this segment 3% above the start of the year, though still below third quarter levels;
  • This is still consistent with higher fuel prices damaging this price-sensitive segment, but the damage may be slower to impact than feared;
  • The outlook is for the soft patch in premium travel to continue for the next few months and fuel costs will continue to weight down on economy travel;
  • A stronger second half to this year will depend critically on whether economic growth holds up.

- IATA Economics -

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