International Air Transport Association (IATA): Global Airlines' Profits Reach $23.3 bln in 2023

Ashraf El-Hadidy in Geneva , Thursday 14 Dec 2023

The annual conference organized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Geneva, Switzerland, addressed the "Performance of the Global Aviation Sector in 2023," confirming the sector's resilience.

International Air Transport Association (IATA):


The participants stressed that the aviation sector has recovered rapidly following the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, reaping profits that exceeded expectations.  

During the conference, IATA officials reviewed the issues pertaining to the global aviation industry and the challenges facing it in 2023. They also highlighted the sector's notable achievements and IATA's expectations for the coming year.

Statistics indicate that by the end of the current year, global airline profits will reach $23.3 billion, with aviation sector revenues totalling $896 billion, including passenger revenues at $642 billion and air cargo revenues at $134.7 billion.

On the other hand, operational expenses in 2023 are estimated at $855 billion and the number of flights at 36.8 million.  

In addition, the conference discussed the sector’s speed of recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also dealt with enhancing air safety, digitization, expanding the use of electronic passports, rising operational costs, and the aviation industry's plan to achieve "zero" carbon emissions by 2050.

Willie Walsh, President of the International Air Transport Association, stated that the aviation sector recovered from the pandemic to varying degrees worldwide, underscoring its resilience after enduring significant hardships.

He pointed out that the Middle East, North America, and Europe are expected to record net profits in 2023, with Asia-Pacific joining them in 2024. However, Latin America and Africa are expected to remain in the "red zone" next year.

Walsh mentioned that airlines compete fiercely to serve travellers but face challenges such as regulatory burdens, rising infrastructure costs, and disruptions in the aircraft spare parts supply chain affecting airline operations.

For airlines in the Middle East, IATA's statistics reveal strong financial performance near the end of 2023, expected to continue into 2024. Middle Eastern airlines swiftly reconstructed their international networks and recovered operational points suspended during the pandemic.

On the other hand, African airlines are expected to incur losses in both 2023 and 2024. The continent remains a challenging market for airline operations due to economic challenges, infrastructure issues, and difficulties in direct internal travel affecting the industry's performance.

Furthermore, IATA stated that airline profits would reach $25.7 billion by 2024. The organization also expected the revenues of the aviation industry to set a historical record of $964 billion and passenger revenues to amount to $717 billion.

Approximately 4.7 billion passengers are expected to travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019. Operating profits for the aviation industry are expected to reach $40.7 billion.

The revenues from cargo, on the other hand, are expected to decline to $111 billion, a significant decrease from the unusual peak of $210 billion in 2021. Fuel costs would amount to $281 billion in 2024, constituting 31 percent of total operating costs, with airlines consuming around 100 billion gallons of fuel.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the industry are expected to reach 939 million tons in 2024.

IATA officials explained that the aviation sector is working on increasing the use of "biofuels" to reduce carbon emissions. Sustainable fuel production is expected to rise to 0.53 percent of total fuel consumption for airlines in 2024, adding $2.4 billion to the fuel bill next year.

Short link: