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Date de publication: 18 nov. 2011
Auteur: Y. B.
Noter cette article :

IATA, l'Association internationale du transport aérien, a publié son "PREMIUM TRAFFIC MONITOR" pour le mois de septembre 2011 et observe une stagnation du traffic aérien "premium".

Points clés :

  • The number of passengers flying on premium seats once again rebounded despite declining business confidence and economic uncertainty. In September, premium (business + first) passenger numbers rose to a level 6.7% higher than the same month last year, after slowing to 2.3% in August.
  • In fact, all of this growth had occurred by May. As the first chart below shows, the September rebound returns the size of the international premium travel market to the level it had reached in May. Premium travel is significantly higher than last year, but has made no further progress since May.
  • For the past few months, we have pointed to the lack of further growth in international trade and the sharp declines in business confidence as reasons for expecting a decline in business travel and premium seat sales. So far, this has not happened. However, as the charts on the next page show, it still looks a matter of time before the deteriorating economic conditions pull premium travel lower.
  • The rebound in economy travel was stronger, taking this market segment to new highs in September. Compared to a year earlier, the number of passengers traveling on economy seats (including premium economy) was 5.8% higher. Although this growth rate is a little less than for premium travel, the chart below shows that the bounce in economy travel from the lower levels in August took passenger numbers well above previous highs.
  • The strongest economy travel market segments in September were within-Europe and Europe-Far East. Given the worsening economic conditions in Europe and the sharp fall in consumer confidence, this growth is unlikely to have been driven by leisure travel. More likely business travellers have been trading down from premium to economy.
  • As the second chart below shows, premium passenger numbers as a percentage of the total international travel market are starting once more to represent a declining proportion.
  • Stronger premium and overall passenger numbers in September helped both airline yields and profits in the third quarter. We had not expected the strength to continue this long. An important question is whether strong travel will continue into the fourth quarter. Given deteriorating business confidence and economic conditions, we stick with our view that air travel markets will slow in the months ahead.

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