Airlines Downgrade 2019 Forecast Amid Trade Spats, Fuel Hike

June 4, 2019

The International Air Transport Association is lowering its 2019 profit forecast for the airline industry amid rising fuel prices and weakening world trade.

The Montreal-based IATA said airlines are expected to earn $28 billion this year, down from the $35.5 billion it had predicted in December.

“Margins are being squeezed by rising costs right across the board, including labor, fuel, and infrastructure,” the industry body said in a statement Sunday at its annual meeting in Seoul.

It said competition among airlines remains stiff and “weakening of global trade is likely to continue as the U.S.-China trade war intensifies,” primarily affecting the cargo business, although passenger traffic could also be hit if tensions rise.

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