IATA: Airline profits unlikely to attain December forecast

IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac
Profits in the airline industry are unlikely to reach the record levels forecast in December due to a jump in fuel costs, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Chief Executive, Alexandre de Juniac has said.

The head of the world’s leading air transport group said on Thursday his organisation will issue fresh forecasts next week, and that airline profits were still likely to be robust.

Juniac said the December projections were based on oil at $60 per barrel. Brent crude is currently over $77 per barrel, having risen roughly 15 percent so far this year.

“We are probably at the peak of the (profit) cycle. Next year we don’t know yet but probably less positive,” Juniac said at a media event ahead of the organisation’s annual meeting starting on Sunday.

Airline operators such as Singapore Airlines Ltd and Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd posted strong profits in the latest quarter ended March amid a tourism boom in the region.

In December, IATA predicted a record $38.4 billion net profit for the airline industry in 2018, with $27.9 billion coming from U.S. and European airlines. IATA represents some 280 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic.

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