North American traffic recovery boosts October passenger growth

Side view of Lufthansa cargo plane

Globally, passenger traffic demand rose 7.2 percent compared to the same month previous year, while capacity grew 6.2 percent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 percent.

The industry will see net profits rising 11.3 per cent to $38.4 billion (Dh141.04 billion) in 2018, marking slight improvement from the $34.5 billion it will make this year (revised up from the $31.4 billion forecast in June).

The global airlines' industry is projected to record a higher net profit of Dollars 38.4 billion in 2018, primarily bolstered by strong demand, industry grouping IATA said on Tuesday.

That's according to research by IATA, the International Air Transport Association. "It's still, however, a tough business, and we are being challenged on the cost front by rising fuel, labour and infrastructure expenses". "To continue to deliver on our full potential, governments need to raise their game-implementing global standards on security, finding a reasonable level of taxation, delivering smarter regulation and building the cost-efficient infrastructure to accommodate growing demand", de Juniac said.

The Iata chief said the industry also faces longer-term challenges.

He said the aviation industry benefits to the economy include 2.7 million direct jobs and support for 3.5 per cent of global economic activity.

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"Signs pointing to broad-based economic upturn continuing into 2018 is also a good news for air travel demand", he said.

A rise in overall revenues to $824 billion, up 9.4% on 2017 revenues of $754 billion.

An estimated 4.3bn passengers will travel next year, with air cargo to rise to 62.5m tonnes. More people than ever are travelling.

Passenger demand next year is forecast to grow 7.0 per cent, amid the slowest announced capacity expansion seen since 2002 at 4.9 per cent. "If (traffic rights) are not negotiated because it is a hard Brexit it will be a disaster for the UK-based carriers because they will not be allowed to land in Europe, which is a small problem", Alexandre de Juniac told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday, although said he didn't think it would come to that.

North American airlines are once again primed to record the highest profits in the industry. "This will outpace an expected 3.5 per cent increase in unit revenues", Pearce said.

In its statement, IATA said the US figure, up from a forecast $15.6 billion in 2017, actually represents a slight fall away in market share. The Middle East should see significant gains, with demand far outstripping capacity growth that's set to be the lowest since 2002 as companies such as Qatar Airways respond to sluggish oil-industry demand and the impact of travel restrictions.

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