June 3 - Global airlines should post an industry profit of $12.7 billion this year, and increase from a previous $10.6 billion forecast. Edward Baran reports.
A $12.7 billion profit - that's what's expected from the global airline industry this year - well up on a 10.6bln forecast. Industry group IATA says lower oil prices and belt tightening are offsetting difficult economic conditions. But, at a meeting of more than 200 airlines in Cape Town, the group's director Tony Tyler said margins remain weak. SOUNDBITE, Tony Tyler, IATA director general, saying (English): "It may sound like a lot of money but its still a net profit margin of only 1.8 percent and actually it amounts to about four dollars a passenger which is less than you'd have to pay for a sandwich in many parts of the world." South Africa is one country which is optimistic. Deputy President Motlanthe predicts significant growth SOUNDBITE, Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy South African President, saying (English); "There is every reason to believe that aviation in South Africa and Africa will continue to grow and boost economic and social development." Meals, extra baggage and seats are expected to make up 5% of total turnover as airlines continue to separate fares from additional services. And 2013 is also due to break records. Airlines are expected to fill 80% of seats this year and transport more 3.1 billion passengers - more than ever before.