Airline Industry Predicting Big Losses

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An airline industry group says the global recession is going to hit the world's airlines with their biggest losses since 9/11. These losses could have implications on Wichita employment.

The International Air Transport Association says the overall state of the industry is "grim." Fewer people are flying and the group says demand is shrinking "much more rapidly" than could have been anticipated even a few months ago.

The association says airlines are looking at a total of $4.7 billion in losses this year. That's nearly double the previous forecast issued in December.

But the outlook for North American airlines is considerably better, where carriers are expected to turn a combined profit of $100 million.

That's because airlines are matching the drop-off in passengers by cutting flights.

Lower fuel prices are also helping the North American picture.

Airlines overall are responding by cutting flights and parking their planes, which could lead to a slowing demand from planemakers such as Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier.

So far, Boeing is confident of 2009 production rates but not certain about next year’s rates.

  • The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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