Airline executives expect improved results and a rebound in cargo volumes in the coming year, a “turning point” for a sector closely linked to economic trends, a survey released showed.
The International Air Transport Association, a Geneva-based body representing 230 airlines, said confidence had grown markedly among major carriers in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
“This does look like a turning point,” IATA said of the quarterly business confidence poll.
Chief financial officers and heads of cargo have taken some solace in a return to economic growth, which has begun to boost demand for air travel and shipments, with stable fuel prices further helping soothe nerves, the survey found.
“Over 73 percent of airline CFOs said that profitability over the next 12 months will improve,” IATA said. “Almost three quarters of respondents now expect freight volumes to rise over the next year up from just over half (in the) last survey.”
IATA’s biggest members include British Airways, Qantas, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Emirates.
Air freight tends to pick up early in the economic recovery cycle when businesses start to replenish their inventories for export.
IATA also repeated its forecast that the airline industry would lose $11 billion (R82 billion) on a net basis this year, with smaller losses of about $4 billion (R29 billion) in 2010.