Decline in travel spurs new airline enticements
4:00AM Monday May 25, 2009
By Grant Bradley
The fall in air travel has not yet bottomed out and is sparking a range of new deals to lure passengers back.
Latest International Air Transport Association figures show the number of passengers travelling in March was 9.3 per cent down on the same month last year.
Unlike with air freight, there is no indication in the data yet that the decline in passenger travel has reached bottom, the association says.
Airlines have dropped leading fares to record low levels and are offering two-for-one deals and other inducements.
Passenger numbers in first or business class were down 19.2 per cent, compared with the previous month’s decline of 21.1 per cent. The rate of decline in economy improved from 8.3 per cent to 8.2 per cent.
Adjusted for leap year and Easter, both travel classes remain in decline.
Premium travel in the Asia-Pacific region remained the weakest in March, with falls of 29.3 per cent across the Pacific, 29.2 per cent within the region and 20.1 per cent between Europe and the Far East.