The airline industry is on course for record profit in 2018

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Asia-Pacific: Airlines in this region are forecast to see profits of $9 billion in 2018, up from $8.3 billion in 2017. 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.

The number of incidents involving disorderly passengers has risen in recent years, with IATA saying in the past that airlines are increasingly having to navigate local laws to bring prosecutions for offenses and crews have to be trained on how to handle violence. Capacity climbed 8.4% and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0%. One emerging concern is the effect of US President Donald Trump's travel restrictions on Middle East carriers.

In North America, traffic rose 3.7pc in October, better than the 3pc growth recorded in September when hurricanes affected travel plans. Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September and it remains the only worldwide market not to have grown in annual terms this year. Inbound travel to the USA seems to be deterred by the additional security measures now involved with travelling to that country. Asia-Pacific carriers are projected to earn $9 billion, Latin American airlines $900 million, and Middle Eastern carriers $600 million.

Geneva/London: Global airline earnings this year will top previous forecasts and surge to a record in 2018, spurred by higher fares and burgeoning cargo demand, according to the industry's main trade group.

The upward cost pressure from fuel prices is in tandem with rising charges by airline industry suppliers and new infrastructure costs that are contributing to an expected slowdown in capacity increases in 2018, he added.

This reflects the nature of global travel in the region, which is predominantly short-haul and highly-price sensitive.

An estimated 4.3bn passengers will travel next year, with air cargo to rise to 62.5m tonnes.

Conditions in the region's two largest economies - Nigeria and South Africa, are still diverging, with business confidence levels in Nigeria near a three-year high, while confidence levels in South Africa are consistent with falling economic activity. Airlines saw traffic grow 7.5 percent, capacity 3.4 percent, and load factor increased 2.7 percent.

In domestic traffic, India and China again showed the strongest growth, rising 20.4% and 10%, respectively, compared to a year ago.

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