The International Air Transport Association (Iata) expects business travel and premium revenues next year to fall sharply following most economic forecasts suggesting recession will not bottom out until mid-2009.
In a statement here today, Iata said the steep decline in premium and economy travel continued in October, with a 6.9 percent fall in premium passenger numbers and a 1.8 percent fall in economy.
It said this was slightly less than September's eight percent decline in premium travel but there were some distortions caused by strikes in Europe last October, and early indications for November suggested a larger decline.
"The downward trend is clear," it said.
Iata said economic conditions certainly deteriorated sharply for both business and premium leisure travel due to the near collapse of parts of the banking sector in late September and October.
"The slumping confidence last month will also cut travel from other sectors as surveys of business confidence in the US, Europe and Asia revealed a severe deterioration in October.
"The recent slump in confidence suggests this scale of decline in business travel could well be reached by early 2009," it said.
The group said the weakest major market for premium travel remained within Europe, which fell over 14 percent in October.
"This market has been in decline for a number of years as business travellers shift to cheaper seats on short-haul markets.
"However, even the previously more robust long-haul premium markets are now weakening," it said.
Source : Bernama
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