The slowdown in the economy has caught up with business travel sales with the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) reporting a near 13% contraction in air sales in June.

The sharp decline is most likely due to the UK’s double bank holiday in June for Whitsun and the Queen’s Jubilee.

However, latest IATA figures show a decline in the proportion of premium travel sold worldwide in May.

IATA reported the premium market has shrunk for three successive months.

The airline association noted: “The loss of share and levelling out of premium travel numbers has followed the slowdown in world trade and decline of business confidence.”

IATA reported premium traffic on the busiest long-haul route, the North Atlantic, down almost 4% year on year in May. Economy traffic on the route was down 1%. However, worldwide air passenger numbers were up 5% on a year ago.

The GTMC noted air sales by member companies remain almost 1% up on 2011 in the year to June.

GTMC members handle about 80% of UK corporate travel business. The GTMC reported air sales up 3.7% in the first five months of the year.