International Air Transport Association Raises Profit Outlook for World’s Airlines

The world’s airlines have raised their profit forecasts for 2012 and expect improved performance in 2013 as efforts by North American airlines to trim capacity have boosted margins and demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday.

The IATA, which represents about 80 percent of global carriers, now expects the $630 billion airline industry to make a net profit of $4.1 billion this year, up from an earlier forecast of $3 billion.

IATA also said in its first forecast for 2013 that industry profits will rise further next year to $7.5 billion, helped by passenger traffic expansion of 4.5 percent and cargo expansion of 2.4 percent as global economic growth quickens to 2.5 percent from an expected 2.1 percent this year.

“The outlook improvement is due to airlines performing better in a difficult environment,” Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO said in a statement.

North American carriers are expected to boost profits to $1.9 billion this year from $1.3 billion in 2011, after extensive restructuring.