From record losses of $16 billion in 2008 followed by $9.9 billion in red ink in 2009, carriers are projected to earn $2.5 billion in 2010, according to IATA’s most recent financial forecast presented at last month’s AGM in Berlin. If achieved, this will represent an $18.5 billion profit rebound over two years after a negative swing of $28.9 billion between 2007 and 2008.
Although the resurgence is being driven by the macroeconomic environment, other factors are coming into play as well, lower oil prices among them. After peaking at more than $135 per barrel in July 2008, the price of a barrel of Brent crude averaged $62 last year, helping reduce industry fuel costs by 40% versus 2008. IATA expects it to average $79 for the full year.