updated 3/17/2010 1:46:33 PM ET 2010-03-17T17:46:33

An international airline group said Wednesday that airlines flew 5.7 percent more passengers in January than the same month a year earlier.

The International Air Transport Association said premium travel rose 5.5 percent in the first month of 2010, while economy travel rose 5.7 percent.

Compared with recent low points last year, first and business-class traffic has improved more than coach, IATA said. But premium traffic has much farther to climb to reach 2008 peaks. Premium traffic is now 16 percent under 2008 highs, while economy is just 3 percent under the best times of that year.

Fares are also rising and are up about 10 percent from mid-2009 lows, the trade group said. But fares for business and first class are still 30 percent lower than early 2008 highs, on average.

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