Pacific carriers en route to higher profits in 2018: Iata

There is lots of competition in New Zealand driven by strong trade and tourism IATA chief economist Brian Pearce says

There is lots of competition in New Zealand driven by strong trade and tourism IATA chief economist Brian Pearce says

The organisation - which represents more than 270 airlines accounting for 83pc of global air passenger traffic - said that passenger demand jumped 7.2pc in October compared to October 2016, with demand in Europe rising 6.2pc year-on-year.

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 USA 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.

The global airlines' industry is projected to record a higher net profit of United States dollars 38.4 billion in 2018, primarily bolstered by strong demand, industry grouping IATA said on Tuesday.

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"Safety performance is solid. More routes are being opened, and airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability", said 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. "Aviation is the business of freedom and a catalyst for growth and development", he said, adding the industry benefits to the economy include 2.7 million direct jobs and support for 3.5 percent of global economic activity.

"Signs pointing to broad-based economic upturn continuing into 2018 is also a good news for air travel demand", he said. Mr de Juniac is the former chief executive of Air France-KLM.

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Africa is set to remain the only unprofitable region, IATA predicts, with airlines suffering a collective $100 million loss in 2018, similar to this year. Revenues from the passenger business are forecast to grow to $581bn, up 9.2 per cent on $532bn expected in 2017, according to Iata.

Iata said strong demand, efficiency and reduced interest payments will help airlines improve net profitability in 2018 despite rising costs. More people than ever are travelling. Worldwide capacity is up 6.4% for the year so far, and the global passenger load factor is up one point YOY to 81.6%.

This was the 15th consecutive month in which demand growth outstripped capacity growth, which is positive for load factors, yields, and financial performance. Cargo revenues will continue to do well in 2018, reaching $59.2bn, up 8.6 per cent from expected 2017 revenues of $54.5bn.

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