Middle Eastern aircraft carriers are expected to reach a profit of $700 million in 2012, up from the $300 million previously forecast, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which released its latest industry forecast this week, a UAE daily reported.
The aviation watchdog forecasts the global airline industry to make a net profit of $4.1 billion this year, although this is higher than previous estimates it is still less than half the $8.4 billion achieved in 2011.
The Middle Eastern region specifically has shown the strongest growth in passenger traffic with a 17.1 percent increase in demand, while demand for cargo transport has expanded by 14 percent, according to the report published by the Gulf News.
The IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler, said: “Middle East airlines have seen a major improvement in their prospects for the year. They have been very competitive in both cargo and passenger markets. In addition to growing their long-haul business with increasing market share on routes connecting via the Gulf hubs, they have taken the majority of what little growth there has been in the cargo market this year.”
The IATA predicts that despite the thin width of net margins, which they expect to remain at just 1.1 percent, global airline profits will rise to $7.5 billion, boosted by an expansion in passenger traffic.