At its 79th General Assembly in Istanbul, IATA (the International Air Transport Association) announced that the global airline industry would be back in the black by the end of 2023, with an expected profit of $9.8 billion.
2023 will be the year of full recovery for global air transport. At its 79th General Meeting, IATA (International Air Transport Association) announced that the global airline industry is set to return to profit in 2023, with an expected profit of $9.8 billion. This forecast is more than double the last one made by IATA in December 2022, which predicted a profit of $4.7 billion for the full year 2023.
Expected traffic of 4.35 billion passengers
World air traffic for the full year is expected to reach 4.35 billion passengers, very close to the pre-crisis level of 2019, when 4.54 billion passengers traveled. Total global air transport revenues are expected to reach $803 billion, up 9.7% on the previous year. This is the first year since 2019 ($838 billion) that global air transport is again expected to exceed $800 billion in revenues. Cargo volumes are expected to reach 57.8 million tonnes for 2023, down on 2019 (61.5 million tonnes).
A return to profitability after two years marked by the biggest losses in aviation history
"The global airline industry's performance for 2023 is set to beat all expectations. Strong profitability is underpinned by some positive developments. China lifted its Covid-19 restrictions earlier in the year than originally expected. Cargo revenues remained below 2019 levels, although volumes remain strong. And on the cost side, there has also been an improvement. Jet fuel prices, while still high, have been more moderate compared with the first half of the year," explains Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.
The return to profitability, even with a net profit margin of 1.2%, is an achievement to be welcomed. Firstly, because it comes at a time of definite economic uncertainty. And secondly, it follows two years of the biggest losses in aviation history ($183.3 billion for the years 2020-2022, with a profit margin down 11.3%). It should be noted that the airline industry entered the Covid-19 crisis at the end of a historic period that had seen an average annual net profit margin of 4.2% over the 2015-2019 period.
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