IATA sees return of business traffic

Global demand for premium air travel has returned to levels not seen since 2008, according to the International Air Transport Association.

IATA reported demand for business and first class seats up 16.6% year on year in June, with economy-seat sales up 9.5%.

The returning demand for corporate travel fuelled an even bigger rise in revenue from premium passengers – up 40% on the same period in 2009.

However, Europe remained behind the global improvement. While worldwide passenger numbers were up 11.9% on 2009 in early summer, traffic in Europe was up 7.8%.

The IATA picture of returning premium traffic mirrors the view at British Airways which reported a 0.8% rise in passengers at the front of the cabin in July, but a 3.2% fall in economy.

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