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IATA chief says trade tensions to hit 2019 airline profit outlook

IATA chief says trade tensions to hit 2019 airline profit outlook
FILE PHOTO: International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac speaks during the Global Media Day in Geneva, Switzerland December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo   -   Copyright  PIERRE ALBOUY(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – The head of global airlines lobby IATA warned on Thursday of lower industry forecasts for 2019, triggered by increasing trade tensions and higher costs.

In December, the International Air Transport Association trimmed its 2019 global airline industry profit forecast to $35.5 billion from $38 billion (30 billion pounds), after $32.3 billion in 2018.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general, suggested the industry group would trim its forecast again when it meets in Seoul next month.

“I am a bit worried and I am sorry to tell you that I think we are at a turning point,” he told a meeting of aerospace industry officials in Paris.

“The figures will be in the black but will be more difficult,” he told a meeting of Usaire, an association of U.S. and European aerospace companies.

Trade tensions are already hurting cargo demand and passenger demand is sure to be affected too, he said.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher)

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