Geneva: More than 60 airlines lost more than $3.0 billion during the first three months of this year in the face of a steep fall in demand, the top industry association IATA said on Tuesday.
“This deterioration was before the recent rise in fuel prices and was due mostly to the fall in revenues, as a sharp fall in yields added to the impact of weak travel and freight volumes,” said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The negative results are consistent with IATA’s full-year loss forecast of about $9.0 billion, said the association.
But they contrasted sharply to the $405 million profit made by the airlines during the same period last year.
European carriers posted the biggest losses during the first quarter of 2009, totaling $2.08 billion.
Asian-Pacific airlines showed losses of $822 million while North American carriers posted losses of $574 million.
Middle Eastern airlines posted a profit of $291 million, but this was a fraction of the 1.69 billion profit they earned during the same quarter last year.
Only Latin American carriers improved their earnings, with $139 million in profits for the quarter, up from 120 million year-on-year.
A slump in air passenger traffic accelerated in February and March, reaching double-digits, before stabilizing in April, IATA statistics showed.