Middle East Airlines' Profits to Double in 2018, Says IATA

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In its report, the association said total airline industry net profit in 2018 will rise to $38.4 billion, an increase of around 11 percent on the projected figure for 2017.

The price of jet fuel is forecast to jump nearly 13 percent, weighing on earnings at carriers with limited hedging, such as those in the US and China.The upgraded estimate for this year is still slightly below 2016's $34.8 billion earnings figure, but the 2018 prediction to $38.4 billion would represent a new industry high as passenger numbers top 4.3 billion.

Moneycontrol News India's domestic air traffic beat China's growth by double, according to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Monday.

"Safety performance is solid. And tightening supply conditions in the fourth quarter should see the air cargo industry deliver its strongest operational and financial performance since the post-global financial crisis rebound in 2010", said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO. "Airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability", said Mr de Juniac. "To continue to deliver on our full potential, governments need to raise their game-implementing global standards on security, finding a reasonable level of taxation, delivering smarter regulation and building the cost-efficient infrastructure to accommodate growing demand", de Juniac said.

"The benefits of aviation are compelling - 2.7 million direct jobs and critical support for 3.5% of global economic activity".

The global air transport industry predicts a continued upturn next year with greater profitability, propelled by positive factors including worldwide economic growth.

A rise in cargo carried to 62.5 million tonnes, up 4.5% on the 59.9 million tonnes in 2017. Passengers have directly contributed to the growth in profit, as the average net profit per departing passenger is expected to rise to $8.90 (up from $8.45 in 2017).

Passenger demand next year is forecast to grow 7.0 per cent, amid the slowest announced capacity expansion seen since 2002 at 4.9 per cent.

"This year airlines will safely fly 4 billion people and 60 million tonnes of cargo over some 20,000 city pairs". Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the increase in passenger numbers in November was due to lower fares.

IATA said demand to and from North America in particular fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month.

"Overall unit costs are expected to grow by 4.3 per cent in 2018 [a significant acceleration on the 1.7 per cent increase in 2017]".

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