Airlines make less than $6 per passenger, says IATA

International Air and Transport Association remarks on ‘brutal economic reality’ of the industry

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The International Air and Transport Association said on Monday it expects airlines to record combined net profits of $18 billion this year, amounting to less than $6 per passenger.

Revenues were forecast to reach $746 billion, IATA directer general Tony Tayler said in Doha, pointing out that net margins stood to average 2.4 percent only.

“It sounds impressive. But the brutal economic reality is on revenues of $746 billion dollars we will earn an average net margin of just 2.4 percent,” he said.

This amounted to less than $6 per passenger, added Tayler, who was speaking at an IATA-organized annual conference of the airline industry in the Qatari capital.

IATA said in March that some 240 carriers representing 84 percent of global air traffic had revised down their profit forecast for 2014 to $18.7 billion from $19.7 billion.

Tyler said the industry was celebrating 100 years of aviation in which 3.3 billion passengers will have travelled and 52 million tonnes of cargo transported.

In total, some 50,000 destinations are linked through around 100,000 daily flights, while the industry generates more than 58 million job opportunities worldwide.

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