Airlines have started witnessing improvement in demand, but instead of profits they might register losses to the tune of $5.6 billion this year, says the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) report has said.
"The 3 per cent increase in freight volumes from December to January is particularly encouraging. We can start to see the future with some cautious optimism. But better volumes do not necessarily mean better profits. Passenger yields are still 15 per cent below peak levels and we expect 2010 losses to be at $5.6 billion," IATA Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said in a statement.
IATA has also said in January this year demand for international scheduled air traffic has showed improvement.
January passenger demand was up 6.4 per cent, while a 1.2 per cent increase in capacity pushed load factor to 75.9 per cent compared to last year, it said.
International cargo demand showed a 28.3 per cent improvement with a 3.7 per cent increase in capacity pushing load factor to 49.6 per cent, which is a significant change from 40.1 per cent recorded in January 2009.
The year-on-year increases reflect a steady improvement from the precipitous fall in demand that characterised the early part of 2009, rather than merely a dramatic improvement in the month this year, the report said.
However, demand must improve by a further 2 per cent to return to the peak levels of early 2008, IATA said.