The International Air Transport Association (IATA) raised its global airline profit outlook for 2013, forecasting the world's airlines will see a net income of $12.7 billion this year.
The group said it raised its global outlook because airline's capacity reductions are expected to result in record passenger loads for 2013. IATA is predicting airlines will carry more than 3 billion passengers for the first time, at an average seat occupancy of 80.3 percent.
The projected $12.7 billion in net income would be a 67 percent increase over 2012's $7.6 billion profit.
"Generating even small profits with oil prices at $108/barrel and a weak economic outlook is a major achievement. Improved performance is what’s keeping airlines in the black. Airlines are putting more people in seats," Tony Tyler, CEO of IATA said during the group's annual meeting in Cape Town. "For the first time in history, the industry load factor is expected to average above 80 percent for the year. And with ancillary revenues topping 5 percent, it is clear that airlines have found new ways to add value to the travel experience and to shore-up the bottom line."
IATA expects airlines in all regions to post a profit for 2013, led by Asia-Pacific carriers at $4.6 billion and North American carriers at $4.4 billion. Airlines in Africa are expected to post the lowest regionally combined profits of $100 million, due to average passenger loads below 70 percent and fuel costs that are 21 percent higher than in other markets.
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