North America leads profit rank

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Airlines have made a net post-tax profit of $9 billion in the third quarter of 2014, with North America performing most strongly while Latin American carriers made a loss, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) airlines financial monitor for December 2014.

The 33 sample North American airlines made a net post-tax profit of $3.8 billion in the third quarter, up from $3.4 billion during the same period of 2013. North America was helped by improving economic conditions in the US and trade with Asia Pacific. European airlines made a net post-tax profit of $3.5 billion during the third quarter, the same as in 2013.

Asia Pacific airlines have seen net post-tax profits drop from $2.3 billion during the third quarter of 2013 to $1.6 billion during the same period of 2014. Latin American carriers made a net post-tax loss of $88 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared to a $175 million profit in 2013, which IATA blames on weak economic performance in the region.

IATA says: “A significant sample of 78 airlines shows that the industry improved financial performance on the year ago period. The improvement was driven by the performance of North American airlines.”

IATA says airlines make most profit during the second and third quarter of the year, a trend seen across most regions. North American airlines made a net post-tax profit of $166 million during the first quarter and $3.7 billion in the second quarter last year. In 2014, European airlines turned a $2.2 billion net post-tax loss in the first quarter into a $1.2 billion profit in the second quarter. Airlines in Asia Pacific made a loss of $412 million in the first quarter and a profit of $207 million in the second quarter. Latin American carriers made profits of $19 million and $25 million during the first and second quarter, respectively, before the third quarter loss.

Year-to-date (YTD) freight tonne kilometres (FTK) rose by 4.4 per cent from January to November last year. The Middle East saw the biggest rise in FTK of 10.7 per cent, followed by Africa at 6.1 per cent. Asia Pacific saw FTK rise by 5.4 per cent. FTK in North America rose by 2.3 per cent, followed by two per cent in Europe and 0.5 per cent in Latin America. Available FTK (AFTK) increased by 3.6 per cent YTD, with it increasing the most in the Middle East, by 10.5 per cent. AFTK rose by 5.6 per cent in Asia Pacific, and by 2.9 per cent in Europe, the only regions it rose quicker than FTK. AFTK increased by 0.9 per cent in Africa, 0.4 per cent in Latin America and declined by 0.5 per cent in North America.

The YTD load factor was 45.6 per cent, because of increased bellyhold capacity. Asia Pacific had the highest at 55.4 per cent, Europe was second at 46.8 per cent. North America was low at 35.2 per cent, Africa the lowest at 30.5 per cent.

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