The region's carriers face challenges to their business models, Iata said, and from low oil revenues, regional conflict, crowded air space, the impact of travel restrictions to the United States, and competition from the new "super connector" [Turkish Airlines].
Strong demand, efficiency and reduced interest payments would help airlines improve net profitability in 2018 despite rising costs.
But this still represents slower growth than 2017, which has proved to be a bumper year for the aviation industry.
"Safety performance is solid". "Airlines are achieving sustainable levels of profitability", added de Juniac, while highlighting the challenges of rising fuel costs and well as labour and infrastructure expenses.
This was contained in the International Air Transport Association's (IATA). As a result, operating margins will decline from 8.3% this year to 8.1%, according to the forecast.
A rise in passenger numbers to 4.3 billion, up 6.0% on the 4.1 billion passengers in 2017. A rise in cargo carried to 62.5 million tonnes (up 4.5 per cent on the 59.9 million tonnes in 2017).
FUELLED by a rebound in the cargo market and strong passenger demand, Asia Pacific airlines are expected to rake in profits to the tune of US$9 billion in 2018, up from an expected bottom line of US$8.3 billion for 2017.
"For any other business, that's normal". "For Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos (and) Malaysia, the airline industry's capacity growth is moderate and we should expect a more favourable earnings outlook for the airlines based in these countries", she said. "And hopefully, we are on the way to normalising it".
"Governments are not meeting their responsibility to provide sufficient infrastructure for the industry to meet demand", de Juniac said.More news: Facebook Messenger for Kids
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"Aviation is the business of freedom and a catalyst for growth and development".
"The benefits of aviation are compelling - 2.7 million direct jobs and critical support for 3.5% of global economic activity". Mr de Juniac is the former chief executive of Air France-KLM.
Demand will also overtake expected capacity growth of 5.7 per cent.
Carriers in North America continue to lead on financial performance, accounting for almost half of the industry's total profits.
This indicated a lower forecast for 2017 than announced in June when IATA said Middle East profit would stand at $400m.
The organisation forecast profit would grow to $600m next year from $300m this year on the back of a minor increase in demand.
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.
Middle East airlines, meanwhile, will see net profits doubling to $600 million in 2018, up from the $300 million they will make this year, IATA said. More people than ever are travelling. "About a third of the value of goods traded internationally are shipped by air".