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Premium airline passenger numbers rose 6.1% in January over the same month last year supported by positive developments in the business environment, Iata reported today.

The global airline organisation described the outlook for premium travel as being “broadly positive” but improvements in key drivers have slowed slightly.

“Business confidence and export orders have increased little in 2014, reflecting weakness in some emerging markets,” Iata said. “Nonetheless, performance of advanced economies should sustain premium travel in the months ahead.”

Lucrative North Atlantic routes saw premium travel rise by 5% in January but the largest contributor to the strong growth was high yield travel within the Far East which was up by 7.2%.

“Growth in Asian trade activity over recent months has helped support international business and premium travel,” Iata said??

“Improvements in advanced economies have helped global business confidence reach three-