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IATA Revises Global Outlook Figures

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) revised its 2016 financial outlook for global air transport industry profits upwards to $39.4 billion (from $36.3 billion forecast in December 2015). That is expected to be generated on revenues of $709 billion for an aggregate net profit margin of 5.6%. 2016 is expected to be the fifth consecutive year of improving aggregate industry profits.1-IMG_0843

The airline industry continues to add value to its customers, to the wider economy, and to governments:

  • Consumer benefits from the industry’s improved performance are significant. In 2016 the average return airfare (before surcharges and taxes) is expected to be $366, which is a 62% reduction on 1995 levels (after adjusting for inflation). Passenger numbers are expected to reach 3.8 billion. The network of unique city pairs will reach 18,243.
  • The number of direct airline jobs is expected to rise by 2.8% in 2016 to 2.61 million. The total airline payroll in 2015 is expected to reach $153 billion (up 6.4% from $144 billion in 2015). Compared with 2015, average unit labour costs are expected to rise by 0.1% as productivity per employee improves 3.4%. Airline employees are also extremely productive for the economies in which they work, generating gross value added (GVA, the company level equivalent to GDP) of $100,186 per employee in 2016 (up 5.3% on 2015).
  • The industry tax bill is expected to grow to $118 billion in 2016, a 5.5% increase on 2015.
  • Airlines’ environmental performance continues to improve. The industry is on target to meet its goal of improving fuel efficiency by an average of 1.5% annually until 2020. Current analysis shows that on average the sector has improved fuel efficiency by 2.4% per year since 2009, a figure that is expected to normalise in the coming years.
  • Investments in new aircraft are a major driver of fuel efficiency improvements. In 2016, airlines are expected to take delivery of almost 1,900 new aircraft. About half are projected to replace less fuel-efficient older aircraft.
  • The industry remains committed to achieving carbon-neutral growth from 2020. This is in addition to a 1.5% average annual improvement in fuel-efficiency to 2020 and complements the long-term goal of cutting net emissions in half by 2050 (compared with 2005 levels).

IATA represents some 260 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

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