Mideast carriers to pilot aviation growth in 2018

IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac speaks during the Global Media Day in Geneva

Globally, passenger traffic demand rose 7.2 percent compared to the same month past year, while capacity grew 6.2 percent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 percent.

The price of jet fuel is forecast to jump nearly 13 percent, weighing on earnings at carriers with limited hedging, such as those in the USA and China.The upgraded estimate for this year is still slightly below 2016's $34.8 billion earnings figure, but the 2018 prediction to $38.4 billion would represent a new industry high as passenger numbers top 4.3 billion.

"Strong demand, efficiency and reduced interest payments will help airlines improve net profitability in 2018 despite rising (operating) costs", said IATA, whose 280 members account for more than three quarters of global air traffic.

This was contained in the International Air Transport Association's (IATA).

"These are good times for the global air transport industry", IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac told the worldwide media conference on Tuesday at IATA's Geneva office. "More routes are being opened, and airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability", said de Juniac.


To continue to deliver on our full potential, governments need to raise their game-implementing global standards on security, finding a reasonable level of taxation, delivering smarter regulation and building the cost-efficient infrastructure to accommodate growing demand. A rise in cargo carried to 62.5 million tonnes (up 4.5 per cent on the 59.9 million tonnes in 2017).

This year's profit forecast for the region's airlines has, however, been revised downwards from the $400 million profit IATA forecast in June, which was a 63.6 per cent drop from the $1.1 billion the airlines made in 2016.

In a statement today, IATA said, passenger capacity grew by 6.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage point to 80.8 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y). De Juniac has said insolvency filings at carriers including Air Berlin Plc and Alitalia SpA reflect over-capacity rather than market weakness.

In terms of average net profit per departing passenger, global airlines are expecting to see a higher US$8.90 compared with US$8.45 in 2017. Strong performance of the passenger business is supported by expected robust GDP growth of 3.1 per cent, the strongest since 2010.

The Middle Eastern carriers are poised to double profits to US$600 million next year due to a 7 per cent growth in demand and a scaling back of capacity injection. "This led cargo volume to grow at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3%)", said IATA.

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