Airlines boosted by business fares

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The Independent Online

Airline balance sheets have improved this year in part because of a sharp increase in business class fares, the International Air Transport Association said yesterday.

Iata estimated that average ticket costs for business class flights have risen 8 per cent in the first half of 2010. Business travellers make up 8 per cent of overall passenger numbers but contribute 27 per cent of ticket revenue, Iata said in its latest snapshot of the airline business.

"This market segment is key to profitability," the Geneva-based group said. "Year-on-year premium revenues have been improving during the first half of the year."