Airlines on course for record profits in 2023

Plane illustration / Photo EPA-EFE / SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Airlines around the world are likely to post record profits this year. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has doubled its forecast for the sector's profits for 2023 to almost $10 billion, it was revealed at the organisation's annual meeting in Istanbul.

The British "Guardian" quotes the data, BGNES reports. Meanwhile, the association's chief executive Willie Walsh dismissed accusations that ticket prices were too high, saying the companies' profits were "thin". According to him, the reason for the high prices is the huge costs imposed by the contractors.

After losing $183 billion during the pandemic, the sector is looking forward to a "profitable, safe, efficient and sustainable future," says Walsh. IATA expects annual revenue of $803 billion this year and a net profit of $9,8 billion – double the December forecast. Global passenger numbers are expected to reach 4,35 billion, about 96 percent of last pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Growth has been largely driven by China's opening up, but there is growing demand worldwide. High fuel prices and inflation are responsible for the rise in prices, IATA said. According to them, after deducting inflation, prices are currently at the level of 2019. The association estimates that the average profit per passenger is only $2,25.

"With that money, you can't even buy a subway ticket in New York." That is not a sustainable level of profit. But given that we lost $76 per passenger in 2020, the rate of recovery is solid," Walls commented.

And this year is largely expected to be calmer after the hysteria of 2022 with staff shortages, lost luggage, huge delays and then strikes.

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