UPDATE 1-Air travel recovery slowing – IATA

* Premium travel up 9.1 pct in August, vs 13.8 pct in July

* Both premium, economy fall 1-1.5 pct in August from July

GENEVA, Oct 14 (BestGrowthStock) – The strong recovery in air travel
is slowing as the force of the economic upswing moderates, with
growth in business travel continuing to outpace that in economy
class, airline industry association IATA said on Thursday.

Besides pointing to the health of the airline industry the
premium figures are a leading indicator of business activity.

Slower year-on-year growth in August than in recent months
was partly due to the statistical effect of a big increase in
August last year as a the post-recession rebound took hold, the
International Air Transport Association said in its monthly
premium traffic monitor.

But there was a fall of 1 to 1.5 percent between July and
August in the seasonally adjusted number of passengers
travelling in both premium and economy seats, it said.

“There are clear signs now that the post-recession rebound
of international air travel is slowing,” it said.

The number of passengers travelling in business or first
class in August was 9.1 percent higher than a year earlier,
against a 13.8 percent year-on-year rise in July.

Numbers at the back of the plane were up 6.2 percent,
against 8.8 percent in July.

IATA, whose 230 members include Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: ), Air
Canada (ACa.TO: ) and Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI: ), said demand
for premium travel had now risen 17 percent above its 2009 low
but 99 percent of that rebound occurred by the end of the first
quarter of this year.

In the five months since then the number of passengers
travelling on premium seats — typically for business — had
levelled off but whether this was a temporary pause remained to
be seen.

Business confidence is slipping but remains positive and
premium markets are still 11 percent below their early 2008
peak, it said.

Economy travel, driven by leisure markets and consumer
confidence, has risen 11 percent from its 2009 low and passenger
numbers in this segment are now above pre-crisis highs.

IATA said the near stagnation in month-on-month growth rates
in recent months was not consistent with business travel leading
indicators which though slipping should support trend growth of
5-6 percent a year.
(Reporting by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Hans Peters)

UPDATE 1-Air travel recovery slowing – IATA