IATA said in its August Premium Travel Monitor that bookings in business and first class in the Asia Pacific region are starting to rise again, driven in part by a general rise in trade across the region.
“The strongest rise in economic and business activity has been seen in the Asia Pacific regions, where private sector balance sheets are less encumbered with debt and bad assets,” it said.
“Premium travel in this region went from a 19.5 per cent decline in July to a level 10.4 per cent down on a year earlier in August. Economy travel rose strongly so overall passenger numbers in this region are now 4.4 per cent higher than a year earlier.”
Nevertheless, the report noted that long haul travel outside of the Asian region has remained depressed, with travel to the north and mid Pacific down by 8.2 per cent in July and August.
While there were signs that premium bookings were starting to improve, the report noted that it will still take some time before demand is back at pre-recession levels. “Premium revenues are now improving but, at an estimated 30 per cent down year-on-year in August, there is an awful long way to go before positive growth resumes,” it said.