Air Transport World

Eser says IATA airlines lucky to break even in '86. (Gunter Eser, International Air Transport Association)

Eser says IATA airlines lucky to break even in '86 Geneva--The International Air Transport Association members made a net profit of $600 million on international services in 1985, or $900 million if domestic routes and non-transport activities are taken into account, but will be "lucky to break even" this year, according to Gunter Eser, IATA director general, speaking here.

Asked by ATW to forecast the industry trend for 1987, Eser expressed caution, commenting, "With over-capacity on the North Atlantic, we are not sure right now what the forecast will be." He added, "We are not optimistic any more."

Eser recalled that at the IATA annual meeting in Hamburg at the end of last year, he had forecast a good year for 1986. But nobody could have foreseen the impact of terrorism, of fuel prices and of the lower dollar.

Other major points from the DG's brief: Eser identified five significant issues facing the airline industry--1) security; 2) changes in technology; 3) fuel prices; 4) European liberalization; 5) the way in which IATA is evolving. On the latter point, he said that membership of the association would exceed 150 airlines by the end of the year and revealed a drive to bring some of the big uncommitted carriers in.

Soviet membership?

Eser said that on a recent visit to the Far East, he had had talks towards this end with Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airline System, Thai International and the Chinese CAAC. …

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