Global airlines are predicting their first industry-wide profit in 2023, as air travel rebounds from COVID-19 restrictions. The trade association of world airlines, International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday said that it expects a net profit of $4.7-billion for the industry next year, with more than 4 billion passengers set to fly. It had previously said only that profits were “within reach” in 2023. For this year, the association narrowed its forecast for industry-wide losses to $6.9-billion from $9.7-billion.
Geneva-based IATA, which represents some 300 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic, also expects airlines to post a small net profit of $4.7 billion at a 0.6 per cent net profit margin. It will be the first profit earned by the airline industry since 2019 when net profits stood at $26.4 billion or 3.1 per cent net profit margin.
IATA director general, Willie Walsh, in an official statement, said the expected return to profit in 2023 is a great achievement keeping in mind the scale of the financial and economic damage caused by government-imposed pandemic restrictions. He, however, warned that many airlines will continue to struggle next year due to regulations, high costs and inconsistent government policies and other challenges.