(Corrects name in first para to International Air Transport
Association, not International Air Travel Association)
* Sees $8.9 bln net profit in 2010, $5.3 bln in 2011
* Asia-Pacific airlines to be benefit, Europe still in red
* Cyclical upturn in traffic, yields faster than expected
SINGAPORE, Sept 21 Global airlines are likely to
post sharply higher profit in 2010 than previously forecast as
the industry rebounds from economic recession, the International
Air Transport Association said on Tuesday.
IATA sees the industry posting a combined net profit of $8.9
billion, more than three times the previous forecast of $2.5
billion made in June, and compared to an estimate of nearly $10
billion losses in 2009. "It is a significant improvement, much
stronger than forecast," IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani
told reporters in Singapore. "But I would say it is not time for
big celebration, let's just do a nice party."
The trade body warned that increasing capacity due to new
aircraft deliveries in 2011 will lead to slower growth for the
industry and put pressure on yields and load factors, resulting
in a lower net profit of $5.3 billion globally next year.
"The cyclical upturn in traffic and yields has been faster
than expected, reflecting the post-recession rebound and tight
capacity. However, the durability of this upturn is in
increasing doubt in North America and Europe," IATA said in a
IATA said Asia-Pacific airlines were the biggest
beneficiaries of a sharp rebound in cargo revenues and it has
revised up the profit forecast in this region to $5.2 billion
from $2.2 billion.
In contrast, IATA said European airlines are expected to
remain in the red although the agency lowered its loss forecast
to $1.3 billion from a $2.8 billion loss in the previous
It was the second revision for global profit by the trade
body, which predicted six months ago that the industry would
lose $2.8 billion in 2010.
The global economic recession had sent the airline industry
into its worst downturn in history, forcing airlines to cut
capacity and lay off staff and sent Japan Airlines, Asia's
biggest airline by revenue, into bankruptcy protection.
A number of major airlines in Asia, including Singapore
Airlines (SIAL.SI) and Cathay Pacific (0293.HK), have however
expressed optimism on the outlook of the sector this year.
(Reporting by Harry Suhartono, editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)