The latest premium traffic monitor by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that the number of international passengers traveling in First- and Business-class seats was up during the month of April. According to IATA, premium seats on the international level rose by 3.8 percent year-over-year.
The reason for the rise in these seats was a demand in premium air travel. Although premium travel was declining in recent months, IATA reported that it is now beginning to stabilize since there have been solid increases in world trade and business confidence.
Improving European and U.S. economies were also attributed as factors for the increase in premium travel that’s led to a rise in global business conditions.
Premium travel in the Far East rose 7.2 percent in April when compared to the previous year. The Middle East also did well on business travel during April and remained inline with what IATA has seen so far in 2014. Many of the Gulf nations including Saudi Arabia and Qatar recorded exceptional growth and near record high levels of business activity.
IATA predicted a positive outlook for premium travel in the coming months. It cited global business confidence and economic growth for the predictions. IATA also said that May data has shown that conditions are already picking up following a decline in global business during the first quarter of the year, including emerging markets such as China.
North American premium travel
After a 3.5 percent rise in premium travel during March 2014, North America experienced a decrease of 0.6 percent IATA reported. However, there were higher-than-average rises in business travel during January 2014 and August and September 2013.
According to the IATA data, mid-Atlantic routes saw an increase of 13.8 percent year-over-year while the number of travelers on Far East – Southwest Pacific routes rose by 12.6 percent.