SINGAPORE (Dec 17): Global full-service airlines have seemingly overcome the challenges of the business and are poised to make US$35.5 billion ($48.6 billion) in profits in 2019, up from US$32.3 billion this year. Steady economic growth helped maintain a steady level of demand for air travel, while oil prices, still far below the peak seen in 2008, have kept costs for airlines down.

“It is expected that 2019 will be the tenth year of profit and the fifth consecutive year where airlines deliver a return on capital that exceeds the industry’s cost of capital, creating value for its investors,” said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in a statement on Dec 12.

According to IATA, the global aviation industry can continue to enjoy a return on invested capital of 8.6% in 2019, same as this year. The margin on net post-tax profits is expected to be 4%, a shade higher from the 3.9% that airlines enjoyed in 2018. Overall industry revenues are expected to reach US$885 billion, up 7.7% from 2018’s US$821 billion, with average net profit per departing passenger coming in at US$7.75, versus US$7.45 this year.

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