The 2013 numbers grew by 4.2% over the previous year, driven by positive developments in the business environment in the second half of 2013, showed a traffic monitoring report issued by the
The growth reflected rising business confidence in
But last year's growth rate was lower than in 2012, when premium traffic gained 4.8%.
Still, some key markets posted increases, such as the US and northern
But the largest share (21%) of the increase in premium travel in 2013 was attributed to the Far East market. This market expanded 7.2% last year, supported by regional trade growth in the second half of the year.
Given recent indications of easing growth in
Passengers travelling in economy class on international routes in 2013 expanded at a slower rate than premium travel, at 3.5%, a significant slowdown from 2012 when growth was 5.9%.
A key reason for the slowdown was the Far East market, where economy-class travel expanded by 4.3% in 2013, less than half the pace of growth in 2012 (9.6%).
While major economies in the region started to show improvement during 2013, growth in
Given the size of the Chinese economy, there were knock-on effects for the region.
The outlook for premium travel markets remains broadly positive.
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