Airline Profits to Hit Record Levels on Low Oil

Demand for travel has been booming in 2015 and is expected to rise in 2016, owing to improving economies and lower oil. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom/Files

GENEVA, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Low oil prices and healthy demand for travel will boost airline profits again in 2016, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

IATA, which represents almost 260 airlines accounting for 83 percent of global air traffic, said net profits would reach record levels of $36.3 billion in 2016 after $33 billion in 2015, with over half of the profits coming from North American carriers.

The Geneva-based association had previously forecast airline profits of $29.3 billion in 2015.

“It is a good news story,” IATA Director General Tony Tyler told journalists in Geneva, although added that industry profits were still best described as fragile rather than sustainable.

Demand for travel has been booming in 2015, thanks to improving economies and lower fuel helping to boost spending, especially on leisure trips.

“We should enjoy the benign trading conditions while they last but it would be a mistake to start to get used to them,” Tyler said.

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