2002 was recognized as being a hard year for the airline industry, but earlier this week the real costs were spelt out at a conference in Trinidad and Tobago. Reporters heard how the global airline industry saw a loss in the last two years of more than its entire profits from the previous 45 years.
Speaking at the conference, hosted by BWIA
International, Giovanni Bisignani, of the international Air Transport Association, said the decline in profits is probable to continue as airline costs go up.
Bisignani cited figures suggesting that in 2002 the worldwide industry lost US$13 Billion and in 2001 saw a loss of US$18 Billion. He believes that the industry is in Dire Straights.
Most of the loss has been attributed to the terrible terrorist attacks of 2001 - which increased safety costs.
Airlines are struggling with the higher operating costs. In 2002 passenger numbers declined by 2.5 percent. It is predicted that they will rise by 4 percent by 2006, yet that will not counteract the higher operating costs.