Europe 1 with AFP 09:56, 05 June 2023This vigorous recovery in traffic, thanks in particular to the reopening of China, will result in a return to profits for carriers. The global turnover of air carriers is expected to reach 803 billion euros, within reach of 838 billion in 2019, according to IATA, which has revised upwards its previous projections in December.
Airlines expect to carry 4.35 billion passengers worldwide this year, not far from the record of 4.54 billion in 2019, before the pandemic, announced Monday their main international association, Iata, meeting at a general assembly in Istanbul. This vigorous recovery in traffic, thanks in particular to the reopening of China, will result in a return to profits for carriers. They are expected to make $9.8 billion in net income this year – double what IATA had previously expected, which also halved its 2022 loss estimates to $3.6 billion.
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Disparities between geographical areas
The overall turnover of air carriers should reach 803 billion euros, within reach of 838 billion in 2019, according to IATA, which has therefore revised upwards its previous projections in December (779 billion). Even if the industry's operating margins will remain very low this year, at 1.2% according to IATA, these profits, the first since the beginning of the pandemic, will mark a dramatic improvement compared to the $ 42 billion lost in 2021 and the abyss of 2020 ($ 137.7 billion).
Not all geographies will recover profits this year, IATA warned. North American, European and Middle Eastern carriers are expected to move largely in the green, with respectively $ 11.5, $ 5.1 billion and $ 2 billion combined. But companies in the Asia-Pacific region (-6.9 billion dollars), Latin America (-1.4 billion) and Africa (-500 million) will remain loss-making this year, the association warned.
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"The financial performance of airlines is better than expected. Stronger profitability is supported by several positive developments: China lifted Covid-19 restrictions earlier than expected. Freight revenues remain higher than before the pandemic, although volumes do not. And the costs are starting to ease. Kerosene prices, which are still high, contracted in the first half of the year," said Willie Walsh, IATA's chief executive.