U.S. airlines to scoop nearly half of global profit in 2018

There is lots of competition in New Zealand driven by strong trade and tourism IATA chief economist Brian Pearce says

Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3% compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7% rise in September. Europe will provide the biggest increase in net income at a gain of $1.7 billion as travel continues to rebound from a spate of terrorist attacks and trans-Atlantic demand remains strong.

But not all the forecasts are so positive, with passenger demand measured in revenue passenger kilometres - measures of traffic for an airline flight - set to rise by only 6%, slightly less than 2017's 7.5% increase. Capacity climbed 8.4% and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0%.

Traffic has been heavily affected by the now-lifted ban on portable electronic devices, as well as from the proposed travel bans to the US.

North American airlines' total market traffic was up 4.8% during the month, compared to 0.4% growth in September; domestic U.S. traffic increased 5.3% in October, compared to a 1.2% drop the previous month. The load factor represents the number of available seats filled. Worldwide traffic for North American carriers grew 3.7% during the month (compared to 3% in September) as global capacity in the region grew 5.2%, causing the region's global load factor to slide 1.1 points YOY to 79.2%.

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IATA said there "continues to be indications" that inbound United States travel is being deterred by the additional security measures now involved when travelling to the country. Latin American passenger traffic showed an 8.7% rise during the month, slowing from 10.7% in September; IATA said global passenger volumes for the region's airlines have struggled to recover from the impacts of the September hurricanes. This may indicate spillover from the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Capacity grew 9.1 percent, but load factor decreased.3 percent.

"Per passenger, airlines on average will make less than $9 and the net margin of 4.7 per cent is hard won", he added. And the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted freight volumes has moderated. "Conditions in the region's two largest economies - Nigeria and South Africa, still are diverging, with business confidence levels in Nigeria near a three-year high, while confidence levels in South Africa are consistent with falling economic activity".

Capacity rose 3.4%, and load factor jumped 2.7 percentage points to 70.9%. Domestic markets have strengthened in China, India and Japan.

While the total number of reported incidents previous year actually fell by nearly 10 percent to 9,837, the portion that were deemed a higher risk increased from 2015.

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