02 Mar '11, 1pm

High oil prices to nearly halve airline profits

GENEVA : High oil prices will cut airline industry profits by nearly half this year despite the growth in air travel with the recovery, the International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday. In a revised profit forecast, IATA said it was downgrading its airline industry profit outlook for 2011 to US$8.6 billion from the US$9.1 billion it estimated in December. "This is a 46 percent fall in net profits compared to the US$16 billion earned by the industry in 2010," IATA said in a statement. "The biggest shift in our forecast is the price of oil," IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani told reporters. "Profits will be cut in half compared to last year and margins are a pathetic 1.4 percent," he said. Airlines are expected to face a fuel bill of US$166 billion on revenues of US$594 billion even as air travel grows faster than expected and capacity is added. IATA incr...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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