Premium Air Traffic Change Holds Steady in November, Mid-Haul Flying Rebounding

Last Updated Jan 25, 2010 9:42 AM EST

Last time we looked at IATA's Premium Traffic Monitor, October traffic had dropped 9.3 percent year-over-year. November numbers just came out and they were down only 6.7 percent year-over-year. Great news, right? Not so fast. It's really just reflective of a more favorable year-over-year comparison. Not much has changed overall, but there are some interesting trends to note.

Looking at markets which have more than 1 percent of total world premium traffic, mid-haul traffic seems to be making a bit of a rebound. Within Asia, for example, premium traffic was actually up .8 percent. North America to Central America premium traffic was down only .6 percent. Europe to the Middle East was actually down 1 percent while Africa to the Middle East was up 3.3 percent.

The shorter haul flying is still feeling the pain with Europe taking the lead. European premium traffic is down 18.5 percent while North America traffic is down 14.4 percent. This is relatively steady.

The long hauls are holding steady as well. North Pacific was still down 9 percent and Europe to Asia was down 6 percent. Transatlantic travel was down 5.9 percent while Transpacific travel was down 9 percent.

So while the short haul traffic numbers are plummeting, it's the longer hauls that account for the lion's share of the revenue. Revenues now are expected to be 12 percent below last November. The short haul numbers may make better headlines, but it's long haul that I'm really watching.