That's according to research by IATA, the International Air Transport Association. Passengers have directly contributed to the growth in profit, as the average net profit per departing passenger is expected to rise to $8.90 (up from $8.45 in 2017). "We have a clear strategy that is delivering results on environmental performance", Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, said in a statement.
They, and global cargo, will fly on an extra 1000 aircraft by the end of 2018 as the global fleet expands to over 30,000 aircraft, IATA said.
Airlines in North America generate almost half of airline revenue across the globe and the largest net profit with $15.6 billion this year. Reflecting strong demand, the worldwide air passenger numbers are expected to cross 4 billion this year and grow further to 4.3 billion in 2018. "The region's carriers face challenges to their business models, and from low oil revenues, regional conflict, crowded air space, the impact of travel restrictions to the USA, and competition the new "super connector" (Turkish Airlines)". The demand for air cargo is at its strongest level in over a decade.
IATA has estimated 2018 airline capacity growth to be 3.4 percent for North America, just shy of the region's forecast traffic growth of 3.5 percent.
IATA said the biggest challenge to profitability in 2018 would be rising costs linked to the higher oil prices and other factors.More news: Conyers retires amid firestorm of sexual harassment allegations from several women
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This has seen airlines achieve "sustainable levels of profitability", de Juniac said.
He said: "To continue to deliver on our full potential, governments need to raise their game-implementing global standards on security, finding a reasonable level of taxation, delivering smarter regulation and building the cost-efficient infrastructure to accommodate growing demand".
He said the benefits of aviation are compelling, with the industry supporting 2.7 million direct jobs and providing support for 3.5 percent of global economic activity.
All regions are expected to post improved profits year-on-year in 2018 with the North American carriers leading the pack at US$16.4 billion, which is almost half of the collective bottom line. Aviation is the business of freedom and a catalyst for growth and development.
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.