IATA survey indicates carrier confidence up

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has noted a “significant improvement” in all the indicators of airline business confidence, measured by IATA’s latestJanuary quarterly survey. The survey also highlighted a divergence between more positive Asian airlines and more pessimistic European carriers, but for the first time since January 2008, a majority said profitability had improved […]


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has noted a “significant improvement” in all the indicators of airline business confidence, measured by IATA’s latestJanuary quarterly survey.

The survey also highlighted a divergence between more positive Asian airlines and more pessimistic European carriers, but for the first time since January 2008, a majority said profitability had improved in the previous quarter.

A full 76 per cent of those surveyed expect profitability to improve over the next 12 months. But IATA cautioned that this measures the direction of change, not levels, so these results are showing that airlines expect a significant narrowing of losses in 2010, but not necessarily a return to profit.

IATA’s own forecast predicts that airline net losses will halve from US$11 billion in 2009 to $5.6 billion in 2010.

There was a particularly sharp improvement in both cargo and passenger demand during the previous quarter, with the majority of airlines switching from reporting declining demand to rising demand. Expectations for improvements in demand over 2010 have risen back to levels last seen in 2007, with 72 per cent of airlines expecting improved cargo demand and over 82 per cent expecting further gains in passenger demand.