Airline industry remains fragile, says IATA

Airline industry remains fragile, says IATA

The international airline industry remains 'fragile' despite a rise in passenger numbers in May.

The warning came as IATA figures revealed a 6.8% rise in carryings over May last year and a 4% increase over the start of the year.

European carriers’ traffic expanded by 10.9%, boosted by increased economic activity in northern Europe and a weaker euro encouraging trade and inbound travel, IATA said. Capacity rose by 10.6%, second only to Latin America, and the load factor strengthened to 77.7%.

IATA director general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said: "We saw positive developments for the air transport volumes in May. International passenger load factors rebounded by 0.8 percentage points to 75.8%.

“Freight volumes improved by 1.2% over April and passenger volumes were up by 1.8%. These will help to alleviate some of the pressure on profits from continued high fuel prices.

“But there are risks associated with political unrest in the Middle East and the European currency crisis.

“We still expect the industry to make $4 billion this year. That is a pathetic 0.7% margin and another shock could alter the industry’s fortunes dramatically. It’s another tough year for a very fragile industry."

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