IATA expects airline industry to generate $31bn profit
GLOBAL airlines raised their 2017 profit forecast for the industry yesterday.
They have also pledged to curb emissions, despite a US decision to exit the separate Paris climate pact.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents more than 200 airlines, said that it expected the industry to generate a $31.4 billion (R401.46bn) profit this year.
This is up from a previous forecast of $29.8bn.
The IATA also raised its outlook for 2017 industry revenue to $743bn from $736bn on expectations that travel demand will increase as the global economy looks set to post its strongest growth in six years.
The forecast underscored a new golden age for airlines’ profitability even as carriers scramble to meet the fastchanging electronics restrictions, pressure to limit emissions and an unprecedented scrutiny on social media over their every mistake.
A UN representative urged airline leaders at IATA’s annual meeting in Mexico to stand by an industry emissions accord known as Corsia, even as US President Donald Trump breaks with a climate pact struck in Paris last year.
“We need to promote implementation of this historic agreement,” said Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
IATA director-general Alexandre de Juniac said the airlines would hold fast to their commitments.
“The very disappointing decision of the US to withdraw from Paris is not a setback for Corsia,” he told the meeting.
“We remain united behind Corsia and our climate change goals.”
IATA’s opening session began without Qatar Airways chief executive Officer Akbar Al Baker amid a diplomatic rift among Arab powers threatening to disrupt the national carrier’s operations.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have severed their ties with Qatar yesterday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.
In the harshest measures, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain’s civil aviation bodies banned Qatari planes from landing at their airports and also banned them from crossing their airspace.
Qatar Airways could not be reached for comment.