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Airline trade group forecasts deeper 2009 losses






A Delta Air Lines commuter jet goes past a Northwest Airline jet on a runway at the Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota October 30, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Miller
A Delta Air Lines commuter jet goes past a Northwest Airline jet on a runway at the Minneapolis St.Paul International Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota October 30, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Miller
</head> <body> <p>By John Crawley</p> <p>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The world's airlines are expected to post losses totaling $11 billion this year as weak passenger traffic and cargo demand pressure revenue, the International Air Transport Association said on Tuesday.</p> <p>The association previously projected losses of $9 billion due to rising fuel prices and weak revenue.</p> <p>The Geneva-based trade group forecast industrywide losses of $3.8 billion in 2010.</p> <p>"The global economic storm may be abating, but airlines have not yet found safe harbor," IATA Director General and Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said in a statement.</p> <p>IATA expects revenue to slump 15 percent in 2009, and Bisignani said the revenue projection was driving the trade group's lowered outlook. During a conference call, he said revenue would not return to 2008 levels until 2012 at the earliest.</p> <p>"After every crisis, we never see yields return to the starting point," he said during the call.</p> <p>Bisignani said smaller- and medium-sized carriers have not had the access to debt markets that their larger peers enjoy, putting them in a more fragile condition. In coming months, the airline industry could see other bankruptcies, he said.</p> <p>IATA also revised its loss estimates for 2008 to $16.8 billion from $10.4 billion to reflect accounting changes and restatements.</p> <p>"The bottom line of this crisis -- with combined 2008-9 losses at $27.8 billion -- is larger than the impact of 9/11," Bisignani said.</p> <p>For 2009, IATA said it expects passenger traffic to fall 4 percent, compared with its June estimate of 8 percent. It sees cargo demand falling 14 percent.</p> <p>The updated forecast assumes oil prices average $61 a barrel, up from $56 a barrel in the previous forecast.</p> <p>Sentiment on airlines has improved recently as cost-cutting has helped soften the blow from weaker demand and some airlines have given signs that revenue trends may be poised to improve.</p> <p>On Monday, Delta Air Lines Inc <DAL.N>, the world's largest carrier, boosted its operating margin forecast for the third quarter, citing lower expected fuel costs. It also said revenue per available seat mile would show a smaller decline in the third quarter than in the second quarter.</p> <p>(Reporting by John Crawley; additional reporting by Karen Jacobs and Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and John Wallace)</p> </body> </html> </div><!-- end article-body --> </div><!-- end aticle-body-wrapper --> <aside> <ul class="social-share-btns clearfix"> <li><g:plusone size="medium" href="http://wsau.com/news/articles/2009/sep/15/airline-trade-group-forecasts-deeper-2009-losses/"></g:plusone></li> <li><div id="fb-root"></div><script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#appId=112315878855956&xfbml=1"></script><fb:like href="http://wsau.com/news/articles/2009/sep/15/airline-trade-group-forecasts-deeper-2009-losses/" action="recommend" send="true" layout="button_count" width="150" show_faces="false" font=""></fb:like></li> <li><a href="http://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" 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