Costly fuel to hit airline profits

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Costly fuel to hit airline profits

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The International Air Transport Association has cut its forecast for profits by the world’s airlines this year.

Blaming a sharp rise in oil prices, IATA predicts industry profits at around 2.3 billion euros, down from a previous estimate of 2.65 billion euros.

It does see some encouraging signs including fuller passenger manifests and the possibility of increased freight revenues.

“On the good news side, it appears that a worsening of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis has been avoided for now,” IATA director general Tony Tyler told a news conference.

“But this has been replaced by rising oil prices as the number one risk that the industry faces.”

IATA’s chief economist Brian Pearce said the organisation remained hopeful that oil prices would not spike higher, but the risk was skewed to the upside.