Passengers downgrading from premium to economy was reconfirmed by British Airways, which registered another month of falling premium sales. The flag carrier reported an 11.9 percent year-on-year fall in premium-class traffic in August. However its economy figures showed signs of recovery, rising 1.3 percent.
Total passengers carried during the busy month slid 1.7 per cent year on year to 3.16m.
Passenger traffic on Asia-Pacific routes was hardest hit - down 13 percent. Passengers carried on short-to-medium-haul routes in the UK and Europe fell 2 per cent. But traffic to the Americas showed marginal improvement.
The figures confirm trends established this year, as BA continues to struggle with a downturn in demand among business travellers.
The airline is also facing competition from budget airlines on its less lucrative short-haul routes in Europe.
But BA’s cargo services showed some signs of recovery, with cargo load kilometres down 5.4 percent against a year-to-date decline of 9.2 percent. The overall load factor on flights was 75.9 per cent, up from 75.1 per cent in July.
BA’s figures came as rival Ryanair announced it had carried 6.88m passengers across its low-cost network of European routes in August, up 19 per cent on August last year. The low-cost carrier maintained its load factor for the month at 90 percent year on year.