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IATA: Airline profits seen lower; Malaysia jet loss brings uncertainty

Published: Updated:

The global airlines industry has lowered its profit forecast for 2014 due to rising jet fuel prices, but says Venezuela's financial policy, Ukraine's political upheaval and a vanished Malaysian jetliner add to the uncertainty in its outlook.

Tony Tyler, director-general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, says the profit this year is expected to be $18.7 billion, a downgrade from the $19.7 billion it forecast in December, as fuel prices have been higher than expected since then. The profit figure is still above the $17.3 billion record the industry earned in 2010.

Tyler told reporters Wednesday that other challenges to the industry include Venezuela blocking airlines from repatriating $3.7 billion, Ukraine's instability pushing up oil prices and the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over Southeast Asia.