September premium air travel declines

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Car Rental News - 20/11/2008


The number of air travelers buying premium-class tickets dropped in September by eight per cent.

The decrease in business- and first-class travel is a sign of the severity of the financial crisis around the world and also an indication of the drop in confidence of American, European and Japanese businesses, according to a trade group report that was released earlier this week.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which published the report, there was a decline in business confidence during October as well, and as the financial crisis worsens, there is likely to be a further drop in premium-class travel.

The IATA report also showed that the decline in September followed a 1.5 per cent fall in the month of August, and was the third month running that premium-class travel showed a decline. Growth in the sector of 1.5 per cent was reported for the first six months of 2008.

Business- and first-class travel typically help airline profitability, so the trend is a particularly unwelcome sign.

Economy-class passenger numbers fell by four per cent in September, according to the IATA, and the decline in total passenger numbers for the month was 4.4 per cent.

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