* Premium traffic numbers rise 16.6 pct June yr/yr
* First half up 11.9 pct, second quarter slowed
GENEVA Aug 16 The number of passengers buying
premium airline tickets jumped again in June, as economic
recovery kept first and business seats filled, the airline
industry association IATA said on Monday.
But there are signs that growth slowed in the second quarter
as economic activity returned to pre-crisis levels, the
International Air Transport Association said in its monthly
Demand for premium tickets in June was 16.6 percent higher
than a year ago, against a 9.5 percent rise for economy, where
recession and austerity measures in some countries is dampening
Growth for the first half of the year was 11.9 percent for
premium and 6.3 percent for economy.
But annualised growth in the second quarter, adjusted for
the disruption from the Icelandic ash cloud, slowed to 9 percent
for premium from double-digit figures in the first quarter, it
"This sort of slowdown should be expected as the
post-recession rebound and business inventory cycle boosts
disappear," it said.
Revenue on premium seats was just over 40 percent higher in
June than a year ago, reflecting both the increased number of
passengers and a strong rise in average fares.
Demand for seats showed wide regional variation, with Asian,
South American and Middle Eastern markets strong, but
Transatlantic routes sluggish.
IATA, whose 230 members include AMR Corp's AMR.N American
Airlines, China Southern Airlines (600029.SS) and Lufthansa
(LHAG.DE), expects airlines to return to the black this year,
with profits of $2.5 billion against earlier forecasts of a $2.8
(Reporting by Jonathan Lynn; Editing by Louise Heavens)