Middle East Airlines' Profits to Double in 2018, Says IATA

Global passenger traffic up 7.2pc in Oct: IATA

Global air travel stays on course for more growth

In its report, the association said total airline industry net profit in 2018 will rise to $38.4 billion, an increase of around 11 percent on the projected figure for 2017.

"As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year", IATA's CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said. Passenger traffic (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) is expected to rise 6 per cent (slightly down on the 7.5 per cent growth of 2017 but still ahead of the average of the past 10 to 20 years of 5.5 per cent), which will exceed a capacity expansion of 5.7 per cent. It will on Tuesday present its updated economic forecasts for the industry at a media event in Geneva.

IATA's statistics show that, when compared to the same month in 2016, passenger traffic in China grew by an impressive 10 percent in October.

"It's still, however, a tough business, and we are being challenged on the cost front by rising fuel, labour and infrastructure expenses", Mr de Juniac noted.

The global air transport industry predicts a continued upturn next year with greater profitability, propelled by positive factors including worldwide economic growth. The demand for air cargo is at its strongest level in over a decade. This will push up the average load factor to a record 81.4 per cent, helping to drive a 3 per cent improvement in yields.

While the total number of reported incidents past year actually fell by nearly 10 percent to 9,837, the portion that were deemed a higher risk increased from 2015.

Andrew Herdman, director-general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, expects that airfares in Asia, which remain at "very affordable levels", may need to be increased in line with higher oil prices.

IATA represents around 275 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic. India's October growth rate was the highest the country has seen all year. Cargo revenues will continue to do well in 2018, reaching $59.2bn, up 8.6 per cent from expected 2017 revenues of $54.5bn.

This is especially impressive considering that October was the 38th consecutive month of double-digit passenger percentage growth for India.

"The focus is really on the pressure from cost (increases)", said Pearce.

In terms of air freight, cargo volumes are similarly expected to rise at a slower pace than this year, down from 9.3 per cent in 2017 to 4.5 per cent in 2018, to reach 62.5 million tonnes. We have a clear strategy that is delivering results on environmental performance.

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