Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Tue July 21 2015

International Air Travel Rises In May

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | July 21, 2015

International Air Travel Rises In May

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has released its monthly travel assessment for the international market and showed decent gains in both premium and economy travel.

Passenger travel on international markets rose 6.2 percent in May compared to a year ago, beating the 3.8 percent increase in April. Economy class travel grew at a stronger rate than premium international air travel, and although the growth was spread across most key markets, it was largely driven by the within Europe market.

Economy class travel rose 6.4 percent in May year-on-year, a pick-up on April growth of 4.2 percent. The strong growth in economy class leisure travel – the more price sensitive travel market – is being supported by lower fares. Premium travel also rose in May, but at a slower (4.1 percent) rate. This reflects continued weakness in business travel demand drivers, with global business confidence being dragged down by emerging markets.

The key driver of the faster growth in international air travel is acceleration within the European market. In May, the market was up 5.1 percent, almost double the rate of growth seen year-to-date, supported by gains in business confidence which confirm that the economic recovery is on track.

IATA said that, looking ahead, although adverse economic developments in some emerging markets continue to present downside risks for growth in international air travel, better conditions in advanced economies are likely to sustain the recent acceleration in passenger numbers.

Economic weakness in Asia from declines in trade activity could lead to deterioration in business-related air travel for that region. But, to date, there have been no signs of weakness in travel demand to Asia.  


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