IATA: aircraft utilisation remains high, for now

But airline share prices are down 40% so far this year

In its latest Airline Financial Report just released, IATA reveals that airline share prices are down 40% so far this year, due to market pessimism about future prospects. However, what is usually a “backward-looking” third quarter shows airline earnings before interest and tax of $12 billion – “a reasonable performance so far”, according to the airline body.
Fuel prices are back up above $130 a barrel, caused by a continuing supply squeeze. Air freight markets are in decline as business confidence falls, but helping profitability is the fact that aircraft utilisation “has been kept high in passenger markets, so far”. There is a stabilisation of breakeven passenger load factors, by rising yields and non-fuel cost efficiencies. “But”, IATA cautions, “the environment over the next few quarters looks much more challenging.”
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