Airlines raise their 2013 profit outlook | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 20.03.2013
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Airlines raise their 2013 profit outlook

The global airline industry has said it expects a modest improvement of its business situation throughout 2013. Asia Pacific and North American carriers are likely to profit most from an economic recovery.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday upgraded its financial outlook for 2013, saying global airline profits would come in at $10.6 billion (8.21 billion euros).

The body, which represents 240 airlines carrying 84 percent of all passengers and cargo, said the sector's overall revenues this year could rise to $671 million from $637 million in 2012.

IATA officials said the industry was slightly more optimistic despite a number of market uncertainties, adding that expected profits had to be put into perspective.

Matter of comparison

"The improvements in industry profitability are encouraging," IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler told reporters in Geneva. "But Nestle, a single company, last year made over $11.5 billion in profit," he said in comparing the figure to the airlines' expected earnings.

"Chronic anemic profitability is characteristic across most of the aviation value chain when compared to other sectors," Tyler said.

The association said financial performance was being made all the more difficult by high fuel costs, with jet fuel predicted to rise to $130 per barrel on average this year, up from $124 per barrel IATA penciled in December 2012.

It said Asia Pacific airlines looked set to deliver the biggest contribution to overall improvements, with $4.2 billion in net profit forecast for this year. It added North American carriers could secure as much as $3.6 billion in earnings.

hg/ (AFP, AP)