A senior official of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has predicted net profits of the world’s airlines to reach $15 billion for 2010, up from $8.9 billion in earlier projections.
Majdi Sabri, IATA's regional vice-president for West Asia and North Africa, attributed the upward revision of earlier estimates to a tangible growth in third quarter earnings in the Far East, the US and Europe.
“This increase means that the impact of the global economic crisis on air traffic firms is disappearing,” Sabri said in an interview with the official Petra news agency.
Air traffic rose 3% this year compared with volume before the downturn that hit the world at the end of 2008, Sabri said.
Sabri also cited the austerity measures being adopted by European countries to come to grips with the sovereign debt crisis as one of the factors that could negatively affect the demand on air traffic services. The IATA official expected Arab airlines to post net profits of about $700 million in 2010, compared with about $400 million of losses last year.
He reported growth rates of 18.6% and 30% respectively in passenger and cargo traffic in West Asia and North Africa in 2010, compared with global rates of 8.5% and 24% respectively.