L'IATA, l'Association internationale du transport aérien a publié son "PREMIUM TRAFFIC MONITOR" pour le mois d'avril 2012 et observe une baisse importante du traffi premium.
Points clés :
The data for April, after a strong first quarter, showed signs of weakness in passenger markets. Both premium and economy traffic fell, compared to March; the earlier improvement in the share of premium class passengers appears to have stopped; and key business travel drivers, such as world trade and business confidence, have fallen.
The level and growth rates for premium and economy class passengers in April slipped back from those in March. Compared to a year ago premium travel in April was up by 5.8%, while economy travel increased 7.3%.
The April year-on-year growth rates were exaggerated, as in previous months, by the impact of the Japan earthquake and the Arab Spring that occurred a year ago. We estimate that premium travel was 3-4% points higher this April than it would have been in the absence these events, in particular the Japan earthquake, implying the market expanded by only 2% in April. Although the growth trend remains upward, the rate of increase since the start of the year has slowed, with premium travel now expanding at an annualized rate of under 5% since the start of the year, below the 2011 growth rate of 5.5%.
Economy travel is in a similar position. The first chart below shows the seasonally adjusted trend for economy class travel, indicating that it is maintaining the upward trend but also slowing in April to give an annualized growth rate of under 5% since January. In contrast to premium travel, however, this is in line with the growth of economy travel last year. The impact of the events in Japan and MENA were less pronounced on economy travel; we estimate the impact was worth about 2% points, resulting in underlying growth of about 5% in April year-on-year.
Year-on-year growth in air travel on all major premium routes was positive, except for the North Atlantic – which contracted by 0.3% in April and as the second largest market, contributed to the fall in premium travel in April compared to March. Premium travel within Europe, the largest route by traffic share, expanded by 1.2% in April, but fell from the March result of 3.2%. Conversely, across the North and Mid Pacific, strong premium travel growth of 13.1% in April could be attributed to more than just the distortions of the Japan Earthquake last year – with consumer confidence rebounding in the US, growth in America's demand for China’s exports has been increasing at double-digit growth rates in recent months.
Conditions in the global business environment continue to provide support for premium travel, but the latest results for important indicators show some weakness, and that is consistent with the results for premium travel in April. Business confidence continues to indicate modest expansion, but the index has weakened on the back of China’s slowdown and further weakness in Europe. The latest month of trade data indicates a slight softening in traded volumes, which does not bode well of for business-related premium travel.
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