International Air Transport Association (IATA) has sent a stark warning to the aviation industry with its new prediction of a 30 percent drop in orders for new aircraft globally.
Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive of the IATA, said the recession had led to an even greater slump in premium traffic and cargo than the $4.7bn (£2.9bn) forecast it made only 10 weeks ago. Speaking in Kuala Lumpur ahead of IATA’s annual meeting next week, Mr Bisignani said: “The economy isn’t moving forward despite some optimism in the financial market. The industry is still in a difficult situation. Premium traffic hasn’t improved.”
He said IATA would issue a new forecast on Monday that was expected to be “substantially worse” than its March projection, which was also revised downward from the $2.5bn losses the association was expecting last December.
IATA, which represents carriers flying 93 percent of international scheduled flights, said that airlines lost as much as $8.5bn last year amid falling passenger traffic and cuts to schedules and jobs.
Mr Bisignani also claimed that new orders at aircraft makers Boeing and Airbus could drop by 30pc this year as carriers cut capacity.
Further evidence of the pressure on airlines emerged from German carrier Air Berlin, which sought finance for the second time this year, by raising €38.3m (£33.6m) from the issue of new shares.
One bright note came from news that United Airlines is discussing a potential 150-jet order. Ryanair is also considering an order for a further 200-300 planes as it targets 150m passengers by 2016.