Report: Premium Air Travel Increases Over Last Year

Good news for first-class flyers: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that global first- and business-class air travel rose 6.3 percent on the year in February, supported by rising business confidence and increased global trade. The report also noted that traffic within Europe suffered as the region's debt crisis continued.

Premium traffic between Europe and the Far East rebounded strongly in February from the previous month rising 9.3 percent on the year, but first and business-class volumes within Europe contracted 0.8 percent on the year, reflecting deteriorating economic conditions in the euro zone, the International Air Transport Association said. Fresh fears over Italy and Spain's debt levels has roiled European markets in recent days and reignited concerns over the region's financial stability. Elsewhere, business passenger volumes rose within the North Atlantic market, while the North and Mid Pacific region registered a stronger increase reflecting a pickup in the U.S. economy, IATA said.

Globally, premium air travel was distorted due to weaker air traffic a year ago thanks to political instability in the Middle East, the trade body said.

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