IATA: U.S. airlines lost $10 billion in 2005
The International Air Transport Association said U.S. airlines lost a combined $10 billion in 2005, contrasted against a $1.5 billion profit for Asian carriers and $1.3 billion for European airlines.
IATA estimated that the worldwide airline industry ended 2005 with a combined loss of $6 billion.
Worldwide cargo traffic increased just 0.4 percent in 2005 over 2004, when measured in freight-ton kilometers. IATA also reported a 7.6 percent jump in worldwide passenger traffic for last year.
In 2005, air traffic in North America declined 0.4 percent, with Middle Eastern carriers posting the largest regional increase at 14.6 percent.
“Growth and profitability are completely different concepts. Freight and passenger traffic are forecast to grow in the 5 percent to 6 percent range during 2006 but the industry is projected to record another loss of over $4 billion for 2006,” said Giovanni Bisignani, director general of IATA. “The industry will not see black ink until at least 2007.”