United States airlines to scoop nearly half of global profit in 2018

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For worldwide traffic, the Asia-Pacific region showed the largest growth in passenger traffic in October, up 10.3% YOY, driven by a solid regional economic backdrop and growing numbers of airport-pairs in operation. "And we will see record load factors in 2018. something like 81.4 per cent". Capacity in the region was 8.4pc higher, while the load factor was up 1.3 percentage points to 78pc.

This was later lifted but there is still the prospect of a travel ban by US President Donald Trump that is making its way through the American courts.

October's performance, IATA said, was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane- related disruptions in September, adding that domestic and global travel growth largely was in balance. The load factor represents the number of available seats filled.

IATA's statistics show that, when compared to the same month in 2016, passenger traffic in China grew by an impressive 10 percent in October.

IATA said there "continues to be indications" that inbound U.S. travel is being deterred by the additional security measures now involved when travelling to the country.

All major aviation markets saw profit growth, with levels in Asia trailing those of Europe and North America, where forecasts were US$11.5 billion and US$16.4 billion respectively.

European carriers' October demand climbed 6.2% over October, 2016, which was a slowdown compared to the 7.2% year-over-year growth recorded for September.

"Per passenger, airlines on average will make less than $9 and the net margin of 4.7 per cent is hard won", he added.

The air-freight market is buoyant after years in the doldrums, IATA said, with volumes likely to reach 62.5 million metric tons next year.

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.

"As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth", said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general. Airlines saw traffic grow 7.5 percent, capacity 3.4 percent, and load factor increased 2.7 percent.

Projecting these figures into the future, IATA predicted that China will be the largest aviation market in the world by 2025, with the US in second position and India in third.

Russia's domestic traffic rose was 6.1% in October, the slowest pace in a year.