I'm sure nobody is surprised to hear that in December, premium air traffic numbers continued their downward slide. Year over year, premium traffic was off 13.3 percent, worse than an 11.5 percent November decline. The drop in the last few months of 2008 has been stunning. I'll let the graph speak for itself.
[Graph from IATA]
Some of this can be attributed to capacity decreases, but a great deal of it is due to severely weakening demand. And while impact is now being felt across the board, Asia is really taking the biggest hit. Premium travel over the North Pacific is down 19.7 percent year over year. Meanwhile, the North Atlantic is down only 8.8 percent. Domestic premium traffic was down 7.7 percent.
It appears that these numbers will continue to fall for now, and the pain will continue. The benefit of lower fuel prices still outweighs the loss in revenue, but it's certainly an alarming trend regardless.
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