June 8, 2009

Airlines could lose $9 billion this year

The International Transport Association in Montreal said the airline industry is on track to lose $9 billion in 2009, with revenues dropping 15 percent.

Worldwide revenues are expected to drop $80 billion to $448 billion, IATA said.

Addressing industry leaders at an IATA conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Bisignani said, It will not be business as usual in the post-crisis world, referring to the economic downturn frequently described as the worst since the Great Depression.

I am a realist and I don't see the facts to support optimism, he said.

Resizing and reshaping is not just a problem for airlines. Everyone in the value chain lives off our revenues. All must contribute to industry change.

Bisignani called for flexibility in labor agreements and new relationships with regulators.

Our relationships with governments must move from punitive micro-regulation to joint problem solving, he said.

He said airlines will be greener in 2009. Harmful airline engine emissions will fall 7 percent in 2009, including 5 percent from declining demand and 2 percent from industry efforts to increase fuel efficiency.