World airlines double 2023 profit outlook

STORY: The world’s airlines are holding their annual get-together, this year in Istanbul.

And they meet in bullish mood.

Carriers have more than doubled their profit forecast for the industry this year, lifting it to $9.8 billion.

That as travel demand soars after the global health crisis.

Fuel prices also show signs of easing.

International Air Transport Association chief Willie Walsh sat down with Reuters ahead of the body’s annual summit.

He says demand really isn’t the issue for airlines any more:

“They are not concerned about the macroeconomic environment, they're concerned about the access to spare parts for their existing aircraft and the delivery of new aircraft. So it's definitely got to hold back capacity growth. I think it's frustrating because airlines can see strong demand, but they're not able to match supply with demand in many markets.”

Soaring airport charges are also a concern.

Walsh singled out Amsterdam’s Schiphol hub as one that was making life hard for airlines.

The industry also fears a repeat of the chaos caused at major airports by staff shortages and strike action.

But Walsh says the trouble may come elsewhere:

“Most of the airports I think, will be okay, as well; I think they've learned the lessons from last year. The areas that we are concerned about this year is air traffic control: it is a European issue and it is a U.S. issue, principally and just some degree, we may see some border control issues as well.”

Airlines around the world, from Qantas to Ryanair, have lifted their forecasts for summer travel.

Many say people are desperate to travel after years of lockdowns - and aren’t put off by high ticket prices.

The next few months will put those predictions to the test.