PETALING JAYA: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has upgraded its outlook for the airline industry’s 2022 financial performance as the pace of recovery from the Covid-19 crisis quickens.
In a statement, IATA said industry losses are expected to reduce to less than US$9.7bil (RM42.7bil) (improved from the October 2021 forecast of a loss of US$11.6bil or RM51.1bil) for a net loss margin of 1.2%.
“That is a huge improvement from losses of US$137.7bil (RM606bil) (minus 36% net margin) in 2020 and US$42.1bil (RM185.3bil) (minus 8.3% net margin) in 2021.
“Efficiency gains and improving yields are helping airlines to reduce losses even with rising labour and fuel costs (the latter driven by a 40% increase in the world oil price and a widening crack spread this year),” it said.
IATA added that industry optimism and commitment to emissions reductions are evident in the expected net delivery of over 1,200 aircraft in 2022.
“Strong pent-up demand, the lifting of travel restrictions in most markets, low unemployment in most countries, and expanded personal savings are fuelling a resurgence in demand that will see passenger numbers reach 83% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
“Despite economic challenges, cargo volumes are expected to set a record high of 68.4 million tonnes in 2022,” it added.
Director general Willie Walsh said it is a time for optimism, even if there were still challenges on costs, particularly fuel, and some lingering restrictions in a few key markets, and profitability is on the horizon for 2023.
“Airlines are resilient. People are flying in ever greater numbers and cargo is performing well against a backdrop of growing economic uncertainty,” he said. — Bernama