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Premium air travel growth was up just 1.9% year on year in March, a slowdown from the 4.1% rise recorded by Iata in February.

Traffic volumes have declined over recent months, consistent with weakening demand drivers, the aviation trade body said in an update today.

“A notable part of the slowdown is China, where business activity has been contracting since January,” Iata said. “Premium travel within the Far East has suffered as a result, contracting 2.2% in March.”

April data from Iata shows business activity now growing at the slowest rate for five months, and world trade volumes declining.

Almost all routes saw a slowdown in March with the exception of “robust” growth between North America and Central-South America.

“The premium travel outlook remains broadly positive, but prior improvements in demand are showing some reversal,” Iata said.

“Advanced economies should support growth in premium travel, but downward pressure from some emerging markets