IATA ex­pects air­line in­dus­try to gen­er­ate $31bn profit

The Star Early Edition - - BUSI­NESS RE­PORT - Reuters

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.

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