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07 December 2017, 02:03 | Vickie Mathis
IATA says Middle East airline net profit will double in 2018
This was contained in IATA's latest analysis of demand for passenger air transport.
Net profit for Europe and Asia is expected to rise to $11.5 billion and $9 billion, respectively.
"As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth", said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and Chief Executive in the report. "Despite the challenges, there is positive momentum heading into 2018", said Iata, whose 280 members account for more than three quarters of global air traffic.
Globally, passenger traffic demand rose 7.2 percent compared to the same month previous year, while capacity grew 6.2 percent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 percent. "The region's carriers face challenges to their business models, and from low oil revenues, regional conflict, crowded air space, the impact of travel restrictions to the United States, and competition the new "super connector" (Turkish Airlines)".
"Demand for air freight grew by 5.9% in October".
Despite the rise in passenger and cargo numbers, the rate of growth for both will be lower in 2018 then 2017, IATA said.
While IATA expects improved profitability across all regions, North America will continue to lead the way, generating net gains of $16.4 billion. "More routes are being opened".
Cargo is also forecast to continue its recovery, with growth of 4.5 percent expected over this year's total - 62.5 million tonnes against 2017's 59.9 million tonnes.
"Airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability", he said while highlighting the challenges of rising fuel costs and well as labour and infrastructure expenses.
"On the other hand, the airline capacity growth in the other Asean markets is more aggressive, namely Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei". De Juniac also cited potential government interference in aviation practices as a factor in the coming year. Aviation is the business of freedom and a catalyst for growth and development.
Longer-term challenges, that de Juniac blamed on governments, are global security standards, tax levels, regulation and infrastructure.
Both are expected to further increase in 2018, but at a slower pace, with an estimated 6 percent increase in passengers and 4.5 percent increase in cargo.
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