Business travellers make move into economy class

MORE business air travellers bought economy tickets in October, as they shifted from premium to cheaper seats, particularly in Europe, due to the economic crisis, industry body IATA said yesterday.

Although overall travel has not stopped growing “so far”, airline profitability will be more challenging in this quarter as jet fuel prices have not fallen from third-quarter levels, the International Air Transport Association said.

Growth in the number of passengers travelling premium (first and business class) on international flights fell sharply in October, rising only 0.1 per cent from the same month last year, against year-on-year growth for September of 6.7 per cent.

“We interpret this as being mostly due to business travellers shifting to cheaper seats,” IATA said in its monthly premium traffic monitor.

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