Global airline authority reports increases in air travel
Friday, October 19, 2012
While the stability of the economy remains questionable, the number of passengers taking to the skies remains high. Business Day reports that demand for business-class seats on many major airlines was strong in August, according to data from the International Air Travel Association (IATA).
Supply and demand
The IATA's report indicates that demand for business-class flights improved during August, with routes between Africa and Asia experiencing spikes in demand. This could be the result of continued growth in the Asian business travel sector, and a heightened focus on international trade in many African nations.
Passengers booking premium seats on flights was 8.5 percent higher in August of this year than the same period in 2011. This represents significant growth, as these figures declined by .5 percent in July, indicating that consumer confidence and demand for business travel could be increasing, despite lingering concerns regarding the stability of the global economy.
"In Africa, low cost aviation may hold the answer to accelerated growth," said Nico Bezuidenhout, chief executive officer of Mango, as quoted by the news source. "It is estimated that low cost aviation has grown the overall market in South Africa by 3 million travellers over the past decade and created well over 15,000 employment opportunities in various up and downstream market segments – from direct job creation through tourism and trade by local entrepreneurs."
Increased business travel to Asia could also have a positive impact on serviced apartments and corporate housing. As hotel chains continue to levy taxes on business travelers to compensate for fluctuations in the number of bookings, other hospitality groups see the potential demand for serviced apartments as a business opportunity.
According to Lanka Business Online, development of at least 84 serviced apartments is set to be completed in the Colombo by 2014 to capitalize on the anticipated influx of business travelers. This trend could continue in other Asian nations as strong business travel figures restore confidence in the hospitality sector and companies specializing in luxury accommodations seek to diversify their portfolios.
In addition to increased business travel, Sri Lanka is also expecting a substantial rise in the number of recreational visits. Following the defeat of the Tamil Tigers militant group, which ended the country's civil war that lasted 30 years, recreational tourism is expected to increase exponentially, with more than 1 million tourists projected to visit Sri Lanka by the end of this year.