Monday, June 21, 2010

Asia-Pacific air growth heads for the skies

BERLIN – The airline industry should be profitable this year for the first time since 2007, led by strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region, the International Air Transport Association said on Monday. “We are upgrading our global industry forecast to a full year profit of US$2.5 billion (€2.1 billion),” IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani told the annual general assembly in Berlin. In March, IATA estimated its members would post a loss of about $2.8 billion this year, following a shortfall of 9.4 billion dollars in 2009. Bisignani said that while the industry would be profitable, "with a (profit) margin of 0.5 percent it will be a modest party." In 2007, before the global financial crisis broke, airlines posted combined profits of $12.9 billion. The recovery will be uneven, the IATA head warned, but “Europe with its weak economy will be the only region in the red, with a 2.8 billion (dollar) loss.” Last year, European airlines lost 4.3 billion dollars.

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