Airline association Iata reported a 2.9% rise in premium air travel worldwide year on year in January following a weak fourth quarter of 2011.
Iata reported a 6.1% increase in economy class travel year on year in the same month, although it noted the Chinese New Year holiday falling in January rather than February this year made a difference.
Europe showed the weakest performance in premium travel at the start of the year, but remains by far the biggest market with 62% of all premium traffic revenue coming from flights to or from Europe.
The weakest of the major premium travel markets was between Europe and the Far East, followed by internal European traffic.
Premium traffic across the North Atlantic was up 1.8% year on year in January after falling 0.8% in December. The Middle East market was up 13.6% year on year.
Global premium passenger numbers have been broadly stable over the last nine months, Iata reported and suggested: “We could see stabilisation or improvement in premium travel markets in coming months.”
However, the association noted world trade growth has been slowing for several months.