IATA: Airline 2009 losses to exceed $2.5 billion

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Airline 2009 losses to exceed $2.5 billion

Airline 2009 losses to exceed $2.5 billion

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The world’s airlines are collectively expected to lose more than $2.5 billion this year and could remain in the red for years amid the deepening global economic slump, a key industry body warned Thursday.
The International Air Transport Association will next week raise its forecast for 2009 industry losses as the deteriorating global economic conditions further hit demand for air travel and cargo, said Director-General Giovanni Bisignani.
“Just look at the numbers. January (global) passenger traffic was down 5.6 percent. Premium traffic, where airlines make their money, was off 16.7 percent and cargo is a disaster with a 23.3 percent fall,” he said.
In December, IATA forecast a $2.5 billion loss for 2009 based on fuel price of $60 a barrel, a 3 percent drop in passenger demand and a 5 percent drop in cargo.
The group said recently that airline losses exceeded $4 billion in the fourth quarter last year, pointing to total losses in 2008 of up to $8 billion, far more than the $5 billion it previously estimated. That bodes poorly for the current year.
Crude oil prices have plunged and world airlines expect to save $30 billion in fuel cost this year but he said there was no immediate relief for some carriers who had hedged fuel at higher prices.
Asia is expected to be the worst performing region as its carriers, which account for 44 percent of the world cargo market, were badly hit by sharper-than-expected slump in its three key markets — China, Indiaand Japan, he said. IATA, a Geneva-based group that represents 230 airline companies worldwide, repeated its call for greater industry liberalization to give greater commercial freedom for airlines to serve global markets more efficiently.
19/03/09 The Associated Press/International Herald Tribune

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~ by anand213 on March 20, 2009.

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