IATA has announced a revised global financial forecast predicting airline losses totaling US$11 billion in 2009. This is US$2 billion worse than the previously projected US$9 billion loss due to rising fuel prices and exceptionally weak yields. Industry revenues for the year are expected to fall by US$80 billion (15%) to US$455 billion compared with 2008 levels.
IATA also revised its loss estimates for 2008 from a loss of US$10.4 billion to a loss of US$16.8 billion. This revision reflects restatements and clarification of the accounting treatment of very large revaluations to goodwill and fuel hedges. (IATA industry profit figures strip-out such extra-ordinary items which are not realized in cash terms.)
'The bottom line of this crisis – with combined 2008-9 losses at US$27.8 billion – is larger than the impact of 9/11, said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO. Industry losses for 2001-2002 were US$24.3 billion. 'This is not a short-term shock.
US$80 billion will disappear from the industry's top line. That 15% of lost revenue will take years to recover. Conserving cash, careful capacity management and cutting costs are the keys to survival. The global economic storm may be abating, but airlines have not yet found safe harbor. The crisis continues,'