IATA sees record profit for airlines as oil prices plunge
Travellers might soon be able to pay less to fly, IATA's chief said Wednesday, after the global airline association predicted record profits for the sector due to plunging oil prices.
Airlines are now expected to make $19.9 billion in profits for 2014 and $25 billion for 2015, more than double from $10.6 billion in 2013.
"Lower oil prices and stronger worldwide GDP growth are the main drivers behind the improved profitability," IATA said in a statement.
Crude prices have plunged by more than 40 percent since June, owing in part to a glut in supplies as the United States ramps up shale production.
IATA chief Tony Tyler said travellers also stand to benefit from the sliding crude prices.
"Stronger industry performance is good news for all. It's a highly competitive industry and consumers -- travellers as well as shippers -- will see lower costs in 2015 as the impact of lower oil prices kick in," he said.
"And a healthy air transport sector will help governments in their overall objective to stimulate the economic growth needed to put the impact of the global financial crisis behind them at last," said Tyler.
IATA's forecast is based on an average Brent price of $85 a barrel and jet fuel price of $99.90 a barrel in 2015.
Crude prices currently hover at around $65, and analysts have forecasted them to keep sliding well into 2015, particularly after the OPEC oil cartel decided to maintain its output level.
Airlines in North America are expected to rake in the biggest chunk of profit, with $13.2 billion next year.
Asia-Pacific carriers are seen making $5.0 billion while European airlines would earn $4.0 billion.
Airlines in the Middle East would record $1.6 billion in profits, and those in Latin America $1 billion and African companies $200 million.
© 2014 AFP