More passengers are turning to cheap flights after new figures revealed that premium travel had declined eight percent over the 12 months to September.
Figures from the International Air Travel Association (IATA) show that the sharp fall in business flights coincided with the decline of confidence in worldwide manufacturing and the collapse of some investment banks.
According to Canadian newspaper the Gazette, the report said that, until August, most of the weakness came in the European flights market.
"By contrast, north Atlantic and Middle East markets had held up relatively well. That has changed.
"Perhaps more of a surprise was a 13.8 percent fall in premium traffic flying within the Middle East."
The findings also revealed that economy passenger numbers have started to fall more steeply, with a 4 percent decrease being reported in September following August’s 0.1 percent decline.
Cheap flights carriers operating short-haul services have remained largely unaffected, while the worst hit have been long-haul full service airlines.
The IATA revealed last month that flight passenger traffic had declined 2.9 percent in September compared to the same period last year.