IATA reveals 2018 financial forecast

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Overall revenues are also forecast to climb to $824 billion next year, from $754 billion seen in 2017. The rise in expected passengers from 2017 represents a growth of six per cent, whereas in the number of passengers in 2017 enjoyed a 7.5-per-cent increase on 2016's numbers.

Many of Nigerian airlines are IATA members. "And the industry is ready to partner with governments to reinforce the foundations for global connectivity that are vital to modern life". It now expects profits of US$34.5 billion for this year vis-a-vis the US$31.4 billion announced in June.

Strong demand, efficiency and reduced interest payments will help airlines improve net profitability in 2018 despite rising costs, de Juniac said.

The price of jet fuel is expected to increase 12.5 per cent from $65.6 in 2017 to $73.8 in 2018.

The report further states that airlines from India have ordered 800 planes, and are looking to add a combined 350-400 aircraft the coming five years. The demand for air cargo is at its strongest level in over a decade.

Cargo is also forecast to continue its recovery, with growth of 4.5 percent expected over this year's total - 62.5 million tonnes against 2017's 59.9 million tonnes.

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Airlines in North America generate almost half of airline revenue across the globe and the largest net profit with $15.6 billion this year.

"It's still, however, a tough business, and we are being challenged on the cost front by rising fuel, labor and infrastructure expenses".

However, IATA said it was not concerned there was a pilot shortage after high-profile cancellations at Ryanair and American Airlines due to rostering issues and after some US airlines awarded high pay increases to pilots this year.

Longer-term challenges, that de Juniac blamed on governments, are global security standards, tax levels, regulation and infrastructure. Turning to environmental concerns, IATA, which said the inflation-adjusted cost of flying had halved for consumers since 1996, said aviation was committed to managing its carbon footprint with a near-term goal of capping emissions through carbon-neutral growth from 2020.

He said the benefits of aviation are compelling, with the industry supporting 2.7 million direct jobs and providing support for 3.5 percent of global economic activity.

Total capacity climbed by six per cent in the global passenger market segment, while load factor increased one percentage point to 79.4 per cent y-o-y, it said.

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