More than 50 global airlines lost 2.021 billion dollars during the second quarter, bringing industry losses for the first half to over 6.0 billion dollars, airline industry association IATA said on Tuesday.
But while European and Asian-Pacific carriers were worse off than a year ago, North American airlines managed to trim their losses while Latin American and Middle Eastern carriers reported a rise in profits, IATA said.
The International Air Transport Association had earlier forecast that losses for the full year would reach about 9.0 billion dollars.
Sixteen Asian-Pacific carriers posted losses of 1.29 billion dollars during the second quarter, compared to losses of 958 million dollars a year ago.
Twelve European airlines recorded 1.101 billion dollars of losses during the period, slipping into the red from a profit of 439 million dollars a year ago.
Twenty North American airlines however trimmed their losses from 419 million a year ago to 134 million for the second quarter this year.
Latin American carriers also improved profits from 5 million dollars in the second quarter last year to 485 million this year, while Middle Eastern carriers saw profits rise from 7 million dollars to 20 million dollars.
The association warned jet fuel prices were rising and had reached over 80 dollars a barrel -- a level last seen in 2007, adding pressure to earnings.
Pointing to improving passenger and freight volumes, IATA said however that they were still below levels recorded last year.
“Travel only began to stabilise at the end of the first quarter. There was a material improvement in July but the future path is likely to be volatile and weaker than normal recoveries,” it said.
IATA had said in August that international air passenger traffic showed an improvement in July but the industry remains in “intensive care.”
Passenger traffic fell 2.9 per cent in July compared to the same month last year, a “relative improvement” from the 7.2 per cent fall recorded for June.