Airlines expect to carry 4.35 billion passengers worldwide this year, not far from the record of 4.54 billion in 2019, before the pandemic, their main international association announced on Monday, Iata, meeting in general assembly in Istanbul.
This vigorous recovery in traffic, thanks in particular to the reopening of China, will result in a return to profits for carriers. They are expected to generate $9.8 billion in net profit this year – double what Iata had previously expected, which has also halved its loss estimates for 2022 to $3.6 billion. .
The overall turnover of air carriers should for its part reach 803 billion dollars, within reach of 838 billion in 2019, according to Iata which therefore revised its previous projections upwards in December (779 billion).
“Better than expected” performance
“Airlines’ financial performance is better than expected. The stronger profitability is supported by several positive developments,” said Willie Walsh, Iata’s chief executive. “Freight revenues remain higher than before the pandemic, even if this is not the case for volumes. And the costs are starting to come down. Kerosene prices, still high, contracted during the first half. »
Even though the industry’s operating margins will remain very low this year, at 1.2% according to Iata, these profits, the first since the start of the pandemic, will mark a dramatic improvement compared to the 42 billion dollars lost in 2021 and at the abyss of 2020 (137.7 billion).
Not all geographic areas will return to profit this year, however, warned Iata. North American, European and Middle Eastern carriers are expected to be largely in the green, with cumulative $11.5, $5.1 and $2 billion respectively.
But companies in the Asia-Pacific region (-6.9 billion dollars), Latin America (-1.4 billion) and Africa (-500 million) will remain in deficit this year, the association warned.
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