Iata triples 2010 airlines profits to $8.9 bn

Iata triples 2010 airlines profits to $8.9 bn

Singapore: The International Air Transport Association more than tripled on its forecast on Tuesday for airline industry profits this year to $8.9 billion from $2.5 billion.

Besides improved demand for air travel, better capacity management by the airlines also aided the industry in recovering stronger than expected from the slump, Iata said.

“We are upgrading again our global profit forecast for the world’s airlines," Iata director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani told a news conference in Singapore.

“The industry has been stronger and faster than anyone predicted," he said.

But Iata said in its first estimate of results for the industry next year that profits for the sector, widely seen as an indicator of general economic activity, would then drop to $5.3 billion.

“So it’s a significant improvement, much stronger than forecasted but I would say it’s not time for a big celebration," the Iata chief said.

“The real question in this forecast is how long we see the recovery lasting. It is clear that there will be a slowdown in the fourth quarter," he said, adding that air travel was already tapering off.