IATA Predicts World’s Airlines Will Return to Profit in 2023

Former IAG and aer Lingus boss predicts airlines will make a profit next year... the first time since 2019 that the sector will be making money

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has predicted that the global airline sector will turn a profit next year… the first time since 2019.

IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, former IAG and Aer Lingus boss predicted that airline will make a combined profit of $4.7bn (€4.5bn) in 2023, which is still well below the $26.4bn they made in 2019, but still puts them in profit by 0.6%.

Mr Walsh praised the resilience of airlines to be able to move back into profitability following the scale of the financial and economic damage caused by government-imposed pandemic restrictions, however he warned that there is still much ground to cover to put the industry on a “solid financial footing”.

“Many airlines are sufficiently profitable to attract the capital needed to drive the industry forward as it decarbonises,” said Mr Walsh. “But many others are struggling for a variety of reasons. These include onerous regulation, high costs, inconsistent government policies, inefficient infrastructure and a value chain where the rewards of connecting the world are not equitably distributed.”

Mr Walsh added that there are “plenty of reasons” to be optimistic for 2023, with the expected return to profitability coming despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties.