Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 January 2020

IATA downgrades airlines' profitability in 2019, forecasts stability in 2020

Middle East carriers to see rebound in 2020 with lower losses

Slowing economic growth and escalations in trade tensions have hurt air travel demand and cargo volumes according to the International Air Transport Association, which downgraded its industry profit forecast for 2019 by 7.5 per cent.

Global airlines are expected to earn a combined $25.9 billion net profit this year, revised down from a June forecast of $28bn, Iata told reporters at a conference in Geneva on Wednesday. The latest December forecast compares with a collective net profit of $27.3bn in 2018.

In 2020, more stability is expected across the industry with global carriers forecast to earn $29.3bn next year, Iata economist, Brian Pearce, said.

Middle East carriers are forecast to record a loss of $1bn in 2020, an improvement from a loss of $1.5bn in 2019, according to the annual forecast.

Regional carriers are expected to see a slight rebound next year as local economies are expected to see an acceleration in growth from 2019.

"There's a lot of self-help by airlines, a lot of restructuring especially in the Gulf, and they're already starting that improvement in earnings," Mr Pearce said."Losses will continue in the region but at a lower rate."

Updated: December 11, 2019 03:24 PM

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